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Overall Rating

Awesome: 5.17%
Worth A Look: 3.45%
Average: 15.52%
Pretty Bad56.9%
Total Crap: 18.97%

4 reviews, 34 user ratings

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Tuxedo, The
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by Erik Childress

"Say It Ain't So! Jackie Chan Action...Boring?"
2 stars

We’ve seen Jackie Chan just about do it all. He’s been run over, fallen on steaming hot coals, squeezed his body through shopping carts and casino teller openings and broken nearly every bone in his body. It’s absolutely amazing then how first-time director Kevin Donovan managed to find something new to add to the canon of Chan. This is something no other director has ever accomplished during the stateside Jackie invasion of 1996. Make Chan’s action sequences boring.

Chan never had to use special effects, because as he put so apropo, “I am a special effect.” So, it seemed inevitable that the introduction of complicated FX would turn the naturally acrobatic Chan into a mere prop, when an experienced helmer could have made him even more impressive. This time around, Chan plays a character that isn’t initially graced with the kung fu grip (although still able to perform a superhuman stunt on a moving limo.) He’s Jimmy Tong, a cab driver with the front page worthy skills of an insane roadster. His talent attracts the people of superspy Clark Devlin (Jason Isaacs), who hire him to be his chauffeur.

This setup worthy of Chan’s Kato to Isaacs’ Green Hornet starts off rather promising with a nice relationship established between the boss and his assistant and even includes some rather entertaining car chases. Seems the secret to Devlin’s success is the power that comes standard with his custom-made tuxedo. Using hundreds of tiny laser-induced sensors, the suit allows its wearer to fight, dance and assemble complicated weapons with the proficiency of a superhero. When Devlin is put out of commission by the insane head of a bottled water company (an amusing Ritchie Coster), it’s Jimmy Tong and the tuxedo to the world’s rescue with help of promoted CSA agent, Del Blaine (Jennifer Love Hewitt). (How many three-letter combinations of secret agencies can there be left for filmmakers?)

Here is where the movie starts to slowly derail. Not only is the film’s most interesting character (and Isaac’s very charming performance) cut way too short, but the action sequences few and far between, looking no more choreographed than your routine movie fistfight. Hewitt even gets to kick about as much as Chan and there’s something inherently wrong with that, even if her breasts are flying this way and that. The titular object also barely gets a chance to shine, devoting as much screen time to dancing as fighting. The combination of Jackie Chan and a clothes ensemble combining Jim Carrey’s Mask and Herbie the Love Bug has no right to be boring.

Instead the film is filled with a lot of lamely staged comedy unworthy of a natural comedian like Chan. It’s funny for about 30 seconds to see him lip-and-body-synching a James Brown song, but one tends to tune out after the 494th close-up booty shake. The film has clearly been geared towards kids to a point and I can appreciate some silliness for the children, (the 5-year old behind me laughed my right ear off,) but either the stakes have clearly been upped for a PG-13 rating or its been mismarketed to the point of offense. For every goofy encounter, there’s an unsettling gruesome one.

The villain’s plan is to create a formula that would dehydrate its drinkers, making them more and more thirsty. But in repeated doses, it can drain a human of their precious bodily fluids leaving nothing but a dried-out wrinkled corpse. Wouldn’t the plan be counterproductive to his business? I enjoyed the creative quality kill of a water helmet to induce drowning (even with the stupid “Aqua la vista, baby” rubout line), but to end the conflict with a resolution right out of Creepshow (think cockroaches) is enough for any cast-iron stomach to reach for a drink.

Jackie Chan is too enjoyable a screen presence to make any film unwatchable, although this one surely gives it a shot. Rush Hour 2 was pretty bad, not because of Chan, but director Brett Ratner’s insistence on giving Chris Tucker the share of hot airtime; otherwise known as the words coming out of his mouth. The broken English of Chan (“cocked Devlin”) even forms it’s own plot point when a mumbled clue becomes a misprounced red herring. Critical rumblings of Chan showing his age (he turned 48 this year) have been unfounded by my eye and I hope his upcoming re-pairing with Owen Wilson for Shanghai Knights will back me.

Pairing him with Hewitt isn’t a horrible idea on the eye candy scale. She’s fine here even while occasionally trying too hard, but it’ll take a long time for her to get a little love back as long as filmmakers continually insist on framing her breasts. One henchman manages to blatantly cop a feel while throwing her into a swimming pool. That way, you see, after Donovan captures her in slow motion while walking alongside it and dramatically sitting on a poolchair, she can get all wet for the post-kiddies in the audience. I’m not complaining, mind you, but my best advice to Hewitt is to just expose them already. Trust me, they’ll lose their mysteriousness and you can move on to some real performances.

It was a sad experience to lose my smile after a mere 30 minutes of The Tuxedo. I should have known better after it opened with what may be the world’s first “follow-the-urine” joke, but I was an optimistic as Chan is charming. Director Kevin Donovan should be ashamed of himself and run out of town for committing one of the ultimate travesties of the silver screen. We want to sit back and watch Chan parade his skills, not zoom in and guess what may have happened in the unnecessary multiple edits. No one waters down an artist like Gene Kelly and audiences deserve to see Jackie Chan dance...not dance.

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originally posted: 09/27/02 03:18:21
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User Comments

3/20/10 the dork knight Someone explain to me how Chan and Hewitt are a believable couple. 2 stars
3/18/09 Josie Cotton is a goddess There should be a limit to the amount of tit-jokes that you can put into a movie 2 stars
2/02/09 CTT A half way entertaining mess 3 stars
2/11/08 Pamela White not Jackie's best 2 stars
2/22/07 johnnyfog There are better movies with Hewitt's tits, you fucktards. Horrible movie! 1 stars
1/25/06 LP Quagmire Best action movie of the year! Hewitt and Chan make an adorable screen couple! 5 stars
10/21/05 Cheryl Mayfield Pretty crappy,but hearin JenniferLoveHewitt say she's a little bit constipated was worth it 2 stars
8/13/05 ES I was on set while they filmed the party scene, a good night, not a good movie 2 stars
7/28/05 Quigley a waste of time. one oft he worst films made yet. chan is now destoying his career. sick! 1 stars
1/24/05 keithers.. Chans golden days are looong gone 2 stars
3/25/04 Whatevr I'm still gagging on this movie 1 stars
2/29/04 Norman L.O. Saw this in theaters, fuck me it was bad! 1 stars
12/09/03 Jiz Started OK, until JLH opened her mouth, then the plot went to shit and so did the movie. 2 stars
6/22/03 John Aster Habig unless its Indiana Jones it ain't a good action flick if you MUST see Chan see Rush Hour 1 stars
4/15/03 Sébastien Langlois I have much like this movie and Jennifer Love-Hewit is my best actres, I the much like... 5 stars
3/06/03 bob leather jacket Good fight scenes, Jennifer Love Hewitt was pleasant to watch 4 stars
2/04/03 Goofy Maxwell a.k.a. Snoop Doug E. Doug She's my bizzle fo shizzle & he's the rizzle dizzle but he ain't no nizzle. Pizzle. }> 3 stars
1/01/03 Cheryl Mayfield Pretty crappy, but hearing Jennifer Love Hewitt say she's a little constipated was worth it 2 stars
1/01/03 Jenna Furr Hero babysits an Ashley Judd clone; villain gives a mermaid an enema. 2 stars
12/29/02 zephyrrider It was absolutely a great laugh. I enjoyed it so much I'm going to watch it again 4 stars
12/28/02 aiken drum I like Jackie Chan, but this movie sucked ass 1 stars
11/24/02 Joe Zappa Sophomoric, dumb, with scattered laughs...and HOT Jennifer Love Hewitt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 2 stars
10/16/02 Angry Black Man JLH is the worst actress since J-LO. A big doo doo fest! 1 stars
10/13/02 Busby Berkeley and Fred Astaire Either the camera dances or Jackie does. Both at the same time, no can do. 2 stars
10/06/02 jessica A GREAT FILM 5 stars
10/02/02 Roy Smith Chan IS a special effect, nothing else was needed. JLH wore too much clothing. Sad. 2 stars
10/01/02 Shizzlenit JLH should be my balls! This movie blows. JLH is one fine whore, though 1 stars
10/01/02 Jake what a disgrace! 1 stars
9/29/02 MyztiQ good for a laugh 3 stars
9/29/02 Uncle Salty Who told JLH she should do movies wearing clothes? Matrix-Fu wanna be. 1 stars
9/28/02 Rey LaRaza I agree. Jackie Chan's natural talents are wasted in CGI and rope tricks, it's heresy. 2 stars
9/28/02 Chancey Sugarpants Chan sucks least but he's not that good b/c he's out of his element. JLH should be slapped 2 stars
9/28/02 syrius Jackie Chan shouldn'tve done this after what happened to "The One", and this was even worst 2 stars
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  27-Sep-2002 (PG-13)



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