Reviewed by: Douglas M. Downs
Starring: Jackie Chan, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Jason Isaacs, Ritchie Coster, Debi Mazar | Directed by: Kevin Donovan | Produced by: John H. Williams, Adam Schroeder, Walter F. Parkes, Brian Gersh | Written by: Philip Hay, Matt Manfredi, Michael Wilson (II), Michael Leeson, Michael Wilson, Phil Hay | Distributor: Dreamworks
There are times when a tuxedo can bring a sense of style and grace to an event. I have witnessed teary-eyed parent taking snapshots before their child heads off to the high school prom. I have officiated at several weddings and I love that moment of reverent innocence when a groom awaits the bride’s journey down the aisle.
I will tell you the truth right up front… a tuxedo does nothing for this latest film by Jackie Chan. It’s another attempt to poke fun at James Bond, but in so many ways this movie fails to deliver the goods. It’s sadly just as boring and silly as the awful remake of “The Avengers”. While Jackie Chan is without a doubt a talented martial arts actor, needing no special effects to showcase his abilities, the exaggerated sexual innuendos (in the tradition of “Austin Powers”) blackens “The Tuxedo”. The script merely makes the actual tuxedo the star and reduces most of the dialog, barely bridging tuxedo and talent to accentuate the special effects.
Our story opens with Jimmy Tong (Jackie Chan) as a cab driver challenged to show off his driving skills while undergoing a job interview by super spy Clark Devlin (Jason Isaacs). Jimmy’s boss is incapacitated and he is instructed to wear a special tux that he had previously admired. Quicker than you can say “Inspector Gadget,” the tux takes on its own superpower identity. The accessory watch can make these clothes do amazing things! Everything but draw us into a good movie, that is.
Delilah Blaine (Jennifer Love Hewitt) is assigned by the agency to assist Clark Devlin, whom she has never met and is therefore innocent to the fact that Jimmy Tong has assumed Clark’s identity. Our villain is Diedrich Banning (Ritchie Coster), a water baron who deviously plans to infect the world’s water supply so that everyone must buy water from him (I guess he forgot that we can still drink milk, juice, etc.). He is helped along by the evil scientist (Peter Stormare, who was much better in “Minority Report”) to devise a delivery system with a few bugs in it (pun intended). Can our clumsy duo prevent the world from being forced to buy just one brand of bottled water? I guess this could be a scary thought to those who insist that their brand of water is the best.
Personally, I think the film would have been funnier if a younger more unsuspecting actor would have stumbled into the tux. If you are going to make fun of the innuendos in a Bond film, then why not someone who is naive and just doesn’t get it? I will warn you that some innuendos present includes the themes of homosexuality and voyeurism. My recommendation is to skip this one and hope that the 48-year-old Jackie Chan can find better work.