The Tuxedo
Dir: Kevin Donovan
Star: Jackie Chan, Jennifer Love Hewitt. Jason Isaacs, Ritchie Coster, Debi Mazar
Cert / Year: 12A - PG13 / 2002
Format: DVD R1

Jimmy Tong (Jackie Chan) is a New York cabbie that is hopeless with the ladies. However due to his driving skills he scores a job as chauffeur for enigmatic millionaire Clark Devlin (Jason Isaacs). Jimmy soon discovers Devlin is not who he says he is, as an attempt on his life almost succeeds. On his bosses instructions he dons his tuxedo that turns out to be an advanced spy suit that gives the user the ability to do almost anything. With Dietrich Banning (Ritchie Coster) planning to poison the words water supply it is up to Jimmy along with rookie CSA agent Del Blaine (Jennifer Love Hewitt) to fill his masters tuxedo and save the world.

Those of you expecting a Jackie Chan martial arts fest should look away now. This is a light action comedy with the emphasis firmly on laughs not fights. When viewed baring this in mind there is a lot of fun to be had, but the martial arts fans will be sorely disappointed. Unfortunately this seems to be the way Jackie Chan's career is moving. I have previously mentioned that American studios wouldn't countenance the risks taken in Jackie’s Asian movies, but just maybe age is catching up with him. Don't get me wrong he is very good at action comedy it's just that it's a shame we don't get to see the fights and stunts that made him one of the most athletic and best martial arts film stars in the world.

It must be said that the story is patchy. The film begins with the tasteless shot of a deer peeing in a stream, followed by a man drowning to the line Aqua la vista baby. At which point you may have been tempted to switch off. Things do get a load better once we get past the mediocre driving sequences and into the secret agent stuff. The real fun begins when Jimmy dons the tuxedo. Jackie Chan does a great job in persuading us that the suit has a mind of its own, and this is what generates many of the laughs. Things get even better when he is joined by Del and it is left to both of them to bungle their way through defeating the plot to enslave the world.

It is commendable that the effects used for the suits actions are relatively restrained from both a CGI and wire work point of view. The comedy has come first and those effects used illustrate that rather than going down the Matrix route. That said nice use of Jackie's own ability to save on effects. It all makes for some action in the Spy Kids mold, with nothing that is terribly impressive but that still generates enough entertainment to keep you occupied. The biggest disappointment is that the car chase scenes have been so badly handled that they fall completely flat (they really should have watched Taxi before filming these scenes).

Enough has been said of Jackie Chan's role in the film but what about his partner Jennifer Love Hewitt? I must admit I am not a fan of hers, she thinks she has far more talent that has so far been readily displayed, however that said she is very good here. Maybe it's this light hearted comedy role that really suits her, but whatever the reason she is the perfect foil for Jimmy's tuxedo based madness. If only she didn't look like a stick with boobs, the more feminine side of the role might have worked better. A mention must almost be made of Jason Isaacs who carries off the post James Bond role well, and Ritchie Coster who provides a stock English bad guy with a touch of flair.

Once you get past the opening fifteen minutes there are some good moments to be had. Scenes like the accidental switching of the tuxedo to demolition mode, or the brilliant James Brown cameo are excellent. However this is not a martial arts movie and Jackie Chan fans will feel very disappointed. As a comedy it's juvenile sense of humor may not appeal to all but Jackie Chan's charm sees it through. No disaster then, but nothing more than average, and rather a waste of Jackie's undoubted talent.


He's Not Looking For Trouble... He's Wearing It.

Rating: 2 out of 5

Picture 1.85:1 Anamorphic Great.
Audio Dolby Digital 5.1 Great too.
Features Deleted (out of order), extended scenes, and Outtakes (no not just the ones at the end of the film)
Making of featurette
Production notes
Verdict Good transfer, and a few interesting extras. For such a lightweight film nothing more is really needed.

Rating: 2 out of 5

Reviewed by Glitz Back Top Home