The Tuxedo is the latest offering from the incorrigible Jackie Chan since his move to Hollywood. Although his films since the move have been fun on the whole, they pale in comparison to the insanity and stunt work of his Hong Kong years.
This film also stands out as the first American film for Chan where he has not had the safety net of a traditional Ďbuddyí co-star (Rush Hour, Shanghai Noon and Rush Hour 2). Strange also that that the next films heís doing are also buddy-buddy films, Shanghai Knights (with Owen Wilson again), High Binders (with Lee Evans) before doing Rush Hour 3 (with Chris Tucker again).
Chan is Jimmy Tong, an unlucky-in-love young man who drives a taxi around the busy streets of Manhattan and drives it well. So well in fact that one day he is head-hunted to be the personal chauffer of millionaire Clark Devlin (Jason Isaacs). Devlin it turns out is actually a super spy with the CSA and after a failed assassination attempt on his life, heís rendered immobile.
Teamed up with naÔve CSA rookie agent Delilah 'Del' Blaine (Jennifer Love Hewitt) who mistakenly believes that Jimmy is the famous Clark Devlin, Jimmy uncovers a sinister plot concocted by Dietrich Banning (Ritchie Coster). Banning is an evil bottled water tycoon who plans to turn the worldís water supply into a deadly dehydrating agent that causes the drinker to turn to dust and therefore the only safe water in the world will only be available from his bottled water plant. It was Banning who tried to assassinate Devlin as he was getting too close to stopping his evil plan.
With only Jimmy to try and get to the bottom of the assassination attempt and the world domination plot, he breaks the one rule that Devlin gave him; never wear Devlinís tuxedo. Once in the tuxedo, Jimmy discovers that he can run faster, jump further, do kung fu and many other amazing feats. Armed with the tuxedo and with Delilah in tow, Jimmy tries to fill the shoes of the great Clark Devlin and to save the world.
Jackie Chan is one of the most sincere and honest actors around. His boyish charms and child-like enjoyment always comes across in his films even when heís kicking arse. The Tuxedo is no exception as he gets to do many goofy stunts while donning the tuxedo and seems to be having a ball. The rest of the cast are good too, with Jason Isaacs being a balance of suave sensibility against Chanís hyperactive shenanigans.
Jennifer Love Hewitt and Jackie Chan donít quite have the chemistry that Chan and Chris Tucker or Owen Wilson had, but their pairing does produce enough chemistry to keep the laughs coming. It did seem that whenever she wasnít on screen with Chan, she was reduced to being pure eye candy as the director Kevin Donovan seems to focus constantly on her ample assets and curves (not necessarily a bad thing!).
On the whole, The Tuxedo is an enjoyable enough affair and one that would appeal to a broad audience. Jackie Chan does what he does best (throw himself around) and even the huge plot holes can be forgiven. Itís not a classic by a long shot, but itís good enough to waste an afternoon with.
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