The Tuxedo

Review Date:
Director: Kevin Donovan
Writer: Michael Leeson, Michael Wilson
Producers: Adam Schroeder, John H. Williams
Jackie Chan
Jennifer Love Hewitt
Jason Isaacs
A shy cab driver gets a posh gig chauffeuring a rich spy-guy around town, until an explosion puts Mr. Moneybags in the hospital and our lowly chauffeur into his coat and tails (literally). The next thing you know, he’s wearing the man’s super-duper-ultra-high-tech tuxedo and able to scale walls, kick mucho ass and boogie with the best of them. Insert generic “bad guy” and Jennifer Love Hugetits into the mix and stir.
One of my friends is fond of saying that “if you’ve seen one Jackie Chan film, you’ve seen them all”, a sentiment that I personally don’t entirely agree with, but in the case of the drunken master’s latest effort entitled THE TUXEDO, I will say that there wasn’t much about it that stayed with me afterwards, and to be completely honest…there wasn’t much about it that tossed my salad while I was there either! It’s basically a “staple” Chan movie, albeit with one very “high concept” tossed in for effect (i.e. the super-tuxedo), but more or less, it’s Chan acting goofy, delivering a couple of funny one-liners and kicking butt in an assortment of ways. One particularly memorable sequence features him kicking ass in only his boxers and pants halfway up (pretty sweet), but other than that, most of it is generic and forgettable. Jennifer Love Hewitt is also pretty ho-hum, and even though the movie does slip a couple of boob references into the mix (the “nice rack” line was funny), she’s not particularly interesting as a character, in fact, she’s basically a whining bitch the whole time. I think more shots of her in a tank-top (a wet one, idyllically) might’ve livened things up, or perhaps some thongs and shit, but alas…I suppose she’s trying to get away from all that perverted crap that dudes like me think up every time we see her (oh, and by the way…eat some more burgers, girl…you’re about this close to turning into a celery stick!)

But the real downfall of the film isn’t Chan’s standard fisticuffs or Hewitt’s clothed performance, it’s the lame-ass (and I stress the words “lame” and “ass”) script which features boring spy plot devices, a one-dimensional bad guy (actually, if there is such a thing as a zero-dimensional bad guy…it’s this dude!), plenty of over-the-top “henchmen” and a whole lotta baloney substituted for an apparent “plot”. Which would have been fine if they had only stuck to the “fluffy” motif which started off the film, but ultimately they try and involve us in this ridiculous story about a madman who wants to take over the world by poisoning the water supply or something (oy vey!), when all you’re really thinking about is where the next roundhouse kick is coming from. The final confrontation between Chan and the “bad guy” is also quite unimpressive, and Peter Stormare’s character of the “creepy doctor” (didn’t he play that exact same dude in MINORITY REPORT? I don’t even think he changed outfits) is as “throw-away” as they come. Jason Isaacs is probably the only character who I really gave half a shit about, but he’s barely in the movie. If they do happen to make a sequel without Chan and Hewitt, but Isaacs at the helm…I’d slap some money down for that! But as it stands now, the film doesn’t offer much to write home about, and even the usual “Chan outtakes” at the end of the flick aren’t as fun as his previous installments (this one seems to concentrate more on his flubbed lines than anything). The last sequence in the film however, featuring Chan attempting to ask a girl out, is pretty funny. I only wish they’d have spread more of that cleverness around the stale screenplay and provided us with exciting action sequences.

(c) 2021 Berge Garabedian

The Tuxedo



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