15 Nov 2012


By David Lee Andrews   Posted at  08:00   MOVIES

I bought a tuxedo from a dodgy department store once, and it inadvertently made me do many strange things. It made me itch. It made me scratch. It made me mad. And it made me go all the way back to the department store again and ask for a refund. Yeah! Straight up. And that's what this 95-minute film made in 2002 me want to do too. This one, Directed by Kevin Donovan; and Starring: Jackie Chan, Jennifer Love Hewitt, and Jason Isaacs.

The Tuxedo


Poor Jimmy Tong (Jackie Chan). All this New York cab driver wanted to do, was to say 'Hi' to a pretty gallery owner that he's got a huge crush on. Still. Do you honestly think he is able to carry out this very simple task all by himself?

Ha! Like sushi he can!

However, what Jimmy is able to do, is get hired to chauffeur around a super-smooth super-spy called Clark Devlin (Jason Isaacs), who's someone that gets knocked into a coma by saboteurs not so long thereafter.

Yeah. No kidding. This very surprising turn of events is very shocking indeed. Right? But is it as shocking as when Jimmy puts on Clarks hi-tech tuxedo, and is bestowed with the gift of agility and hindsight? Moreover, is it as shocking as when Jimmy is then requested by one of Clark's college in the CSA, Del Blaine (Jennifer Love Hewitt), to track down the saboteur in question, Dietrich Banning (Ritchie Coster)?

Granted, Del doesn't know that Clark is in a coma, or that Jimmy is currently posing as him either. Nonetheless, together. they try their best to track down Dietrich, and figure out how he is planning to pollute the populous with water that somehow dehydrates.

Yep. That's correct. I said 'water that dehydrates'. Plus a number of other different words about this adventure spring to mind as well! But I won't tell you what they are. Oh no. Mainly due to the fact that when both Jimmy and Del attempt to track down Dietrich, they fall's flat on they're collective ass's, and it all goes tits-up when the funk is extracted from their endeavors.

Still, that's most probably why what next transpires all kicks off when two inexperienced super-spy's are caught in the act. As the CSA is chopped - trousers are dropped - suits eventually clash - and the bad guys can't help but make a very big splash. 

Now before I say whatever it is I'm about to say about 'The Tuxedo', I'd like you to know that I'm a big fan of Jackie Chan, I want to shag Jennifer Love Hewitt, and I don't mind this genre of action-comedy either. Therefore, it is with a very heavy heart, I must state for the record that this movie is a mixed bag of odds and sods, that felt very flat in its execution.

Here, let me tell you why in bullet-point form. (1) Now I'm not too sure if this was a deliberate ploy or not, but there was absolutely no chemistry between Jackie and Jennifer what so ever. Jennifer came across as a surely type of character with no appealing features apart from her massive tits. Where as Jackie was being a very kind heart-ed version of himself, which is always a 'good thing' in my book. (2) The kung-fu in this flick was of the blatant wire-work variety, and appeared very artificial within the confines of this very artificial production. Granted, Jackie was a lot more apt at this sort of thing than the other players were. However, this contrast became overtly apparent over the course of the story-line. (3) In essence, this tale reminded me of an updated 'Green Hornet' parable, just without the main man himself in the driver's seat. OK, I have to admit, a very nice conceit in theory, huh? But in practice this was nothing more than a loose pretext to highlight a mumbled-jumbled adventure with no firm footing.
Alright, before I get carried away with my 'Tuxedo' bashing, I think it best if I spill some filmic-facts next, OK? (1) This film was released on the 27th of September, 2002, and made $104,391,623 dollars back at thw box-office, out of it $60 million dollar budget. (2)  There was a chimp in a suit and a hat at the films premiere. (3) To date, this has been the only film Kevin Donovan ever directed. (4) One of the screenwriters associated with this flick, Michael J. Leeson, wrote for the hit American sit-coms, 'The Cosby Show' and 'Taxi', as well as devised the film-scripts for the movies 'The War of the Roses' and 'The Survivors' [click here for review]. (5) The City Hall in Toronto, Canada, posed as the 'CSA Headquarters' in this picture. Whilst the 'high-tech super-rifle' is really a 'scoped-competition air-rifle' made by 'Steyr'. (6) Jason Isaacs first film role was as a market trader for the 1994 Jude Law film, 'Shopping'. (7) If you look very closely at the scene where Jimmy goes through Mister Devlin's address book, you can see the made-up phone numbers for Norman Schwarzkopf, Claudia Schiffer, Stephen Sondheim, and George M. Steinbrenner III. (8) Jennifer Love Hewitt was tuned down for the role of Tricia Jones in the 1995 Kevin Smith movie 'Mallrats' [click here for the review] (9) Film critique, Roger Ebert, said that this comedy was 'silly beyond comprehension', and 'even if it weren't silly, it would still be beyond comprehension'. (10) Jackie Chan's real name is Kong-sang Chan. In English 'Kong Sang' means 'Born in Hong Kong'. (11) You can see comedian, Bill Murray, briefly in the final gallery scene acting as a customer. 
Listen, I would have really have loved to have praised 'The Tuxedo' more than I actually did. Honestly. A part of me is dying to say that Jackie was on top form, Jennifer was a star, and that the overall production was out of this world. But I can't. The only things I did like where a few set-pieces, James Browns cameo, Jackie's presence, plus, of course, this...

Blooper city, you have to love it, huh? Bless you Jackie.


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