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Guilty Pleasures

The Tuxedo


Directed by: Kevin Donovan

Written by: Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi

Main Cast:

Jackie Chan - Jimmy Tong  
Jennifer Love Hewitt - Delilah 'Del' Blaine  
Jason Isaacs - Clark Devlin  
Debi Mazar - Steena  
Ritchie Coster - Diedrich Banning  
Peter Stormare - Dr. Simms  
Mia Cottet - Cheryl  
Romany Malco - Mitch 
Daniel Kash - Rogers
James Brown - Himself

Rated PG-13  

To sum up: Jackie is a chauffeur for an international spy and he stumbles on a tuxedo and learns that sometimes it is the clothes that make the man.

     As a major fan of Jackie Chan, it is my sad duty to report that this is one of the weakest films that I have seen from him in a long time. Either the American film industry does not get Jackie or else the truth is that he is getting too old to do this sort of thing any more. Although he sure doesn't look it.

     Jackie plays Jimmy Tong, a taxi driver that is so good he catches the interest of international spy, Clark Devlin (Jason Isaacs). So before you can say "Taxi!" he finds himself as Devlin's new chauffeur. Pretty soon, however, Devlin is out of commission and Jackie finds himself assuming the role of the spy with the aid of Devlin's tuxedo. But, the tuxedo is special. It's a gadget filled tux that enables the wearer to do a variety of things ranging from kung fu fighting or dancing to whipping out a lighter anytime someone is about to light a cigarette. 

     So after meeting up with agent Delilah Blaine played by Jennifer Love Hewitt, they proceed to investigate a madman who plans to take over the world bottled water market. No kidding. It's a complicated plot. Too complicated for a Jackie Chan film, where the star attraction is the amazing moves that he is able to dazzle the viewers with.

     Jackie is for certain, his usual likable self. It's that part of the film, in fact, that saves it from being a total disaster. He's just a nice guy. And he's always willing to poke fun at himself which makes him that much more likeable.

     Needless to say, I feel bad having to pan this film. But when you go see a Jackie Chan flick, you expect to be treated to a variety of dazzling action sequences that utilize an assortment of locations, objects, and creative moves. Sadly, there is almost no interesting action to speak of in this movie; nothing that is signature Jackie at any rate. Anyone could have done it. It's like going to see Fred Astaire and he does a basic two step that any second rate dancer from a high school cheerleading squad could do. In fact due to his learning about the suit and having to cover for James Brown after accidentally knocking him out, Jackie seems to do more dancing than fighting. It was the scene at the James Brown concert that is one of the better sequences in the film.

     To make matters worse, it's clear that the use of wires and other special effects were used to enhance the performance in the action sequences. After years of seeing Jackie do things himself it's disappointing to see this happen. It also makes the gimmick of the film about a person who needs an outside source to help him do amazing things, the tuxedo, take on a double meaning.

     The most telling sign is the bloopers in the end credits where we have the usual dialogue flubs but only one action scene goof.

     A quick comment about Love Hewitt. I did not find her annoying or out of place in this film (certainly not like Denise Richards in "Tomorrow Never Dies"). She was likeable, fun, and had no problem tackling the technical dialogue that her character was required to say.

     Make this Tuxedo a rental.

     Oh, and go Colin Mochrie!!

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