a critiQal film review The Tuxedo (2002)

  • DVD
  • Vudu

Plot: James Tong (Chan) is a cab driver, until he gives a ride to a lady, who invites him to become the driver for Clark Devlin (Isaacs), a secret agent. When Devlin is injured in a car accident, Tong must take his place and team up with special agent Del Blane (Hewitt) to stop Diedrich Banning (Coster), who's trying to poison the water supply to promote his bottled water company.

438 words (Est. Reading Time 2m 11s)
  • ...a decent popcorn comedy for Jackie Chan - despite Jennifer Love Hewitt.

Jackie Chan has made a career out of his willingness to perform crazy stunts, with no thought to his own well-being, In his latest film, The Tuxedo, he teams up with Jennifer Love Hewitt.

He’s been trying to branch out, especially after his success in the comedy action genre with the Rush Hour (1998) films. Now, apparently, his new schtick is to team up with women (see also the upcoming film The Medallion). I wasn’t too sure about why he picked Jennifer Love Hewitt to start this new route with, but I figured I’d check it out nonetheless.

The characters were decently acted. Jackie Chan continues to do a good job playing the straight man in a comedy film, with unusual circumstances happening to him. He’s definitely grown since his first US film, Rumble in the Bronx, and continues to stick (pretty much) to what he knows. And it still works.

Jennifer Love Hewitt, who has never been a favorite of mine, does an okay job giving Jackie someone to play off of. Ritchie Coster plays a typically evil bad guy easily enough, but doesn’t give it too much of his own touch, seemingly sticking to the cliches.

The plot of The Tuxedo was a bit far-fetched, but Jackie helped to tie it together a little bit. The prop of the tuxedo definitely helped keep the viewer interested, in that you never knew what else it could do, aka the old “Inspector Gadget” (TV) cartoons.

The basic storyline does seem to have a bit in common with the old “Inspector Gadget” (TV) cartoons too. It follows a bumbling “agent” with a suit full of gadgets, who chases after the bad guy, while the female “partner” (in the film it’s Jennifer Love Hewitt, in the cartoon it’s Gadget’s daughter Penny) tries to keep him out of trouble. Quite similar, don’t you agree?

The special effects were well done, for the most part. The tuxedo was definitely impressive, and mostly the film got you to believe the suit could actually do all of that. There were a few scenes that obviously used wires, but for the most part, your suspension of disbelief didn’t need to be that high.

All in all, a good comedic foray for Jackie Chan. While it doesn’t stand up to the hilarity or buddy feel of the Rush Hour (1998) films, and Jennifer Love Hewitt is definitely no match for Chris Tucker in the comedy department (although she does beat him hands down for looks!), The Tuxedo is a decent way to spend an hour and a half.

Just remember to bring the popcorn – it’s that type of movie.

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