Review by: Jack Foley | Rating:
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Deleted scenes; Extended scenes; Outtakes
and bloopers; HBO First Look: Tailor Made For Jackie Chan; Theatrical
trailer; Cast; Filmmakers; Production notes; Regions 2/4.
JACKIE Chan films have the habit of being so stupid, they are
virtually critic-proof, as the sprightly star seems to be able
to take the flimsiest material and make it hugely entertaining.
Take Rush Hour, for instance,
a film which did little more than update the mis-matched cops
scenario to terrific effect, or Shanghai Noon, which thrust another
mis-matched partnership into the wild West, to similar effect.
Both have spawned sequels.
The Tuxedo, however, breaks the mould. It is a tiresome and completely
absurd affair, which frequently squanders the talents of its star
by virtually making him redundant.
Chan stars as cabbie-turned-chauffeur, Jimmy Tong, who suddenly
becomes thrust into a world of espionage and double-cross when
his boss, Clark Devlin (Jason Isaacs), becomes injured in an explosion.
Inheriting Devlins prized tuxedo, which possesses the ability
to turn its wearer into a super-spy, Tong teams up with Jennifer
Love Hewitts feisty CSA agent, Del Blaine, to prevent an
evil megalomaniac from wreaking havoc on America.
So far, so James Bond - the joke being that Chan, complete with
dodgy foreign accent and awkward social skills, is the least likely
person to save the world.
Unfortunately, the joke falls embarrassingly flat. Chan certainly
exudes his usual charisma - Love Hewitt has affectionately referred
to him as this little ball of light and energy that bounces
around making every person he meets smile - but, strangely,
he cannot save the film.
A small part of this is attributable to the people around him,
with Love Hewitt failing to provide the type of memorable sidekick
that made both Chris Tucker and Owen Wilson so endearing, while
the plot is so shabby that it is virtually painful to watch.
But the biggest problem remains the fact that Chan is criminally
wasted. Much of the fun of watching a Jackie Chan film lies in
his amazing ability to manoeuvre himself out of any given situation
- his agility never fails to impress.
Yet by employing Matrix-style
effects to most of the action sequences, debut director Kevin
Donovan (a veteran of award-winning commercials) robs the audience
of its selling point.
Chan remains fun, whenever on screen, but his fight scenes lack
their usual sparkle and ingenuity, which is really like being
at your favourite concert with the sound on mute.
It serves to make the movies faults all the more glaring
and given that there are so many, The Tuxedo quickly becomes a