The Tuxedo

Dir: Kevin Donovan
Starring: Jackie Chan, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Jason Isaacs, Ritchie Coster

Chan's post-Hong Kong film career continues with this lightweight spy caper that plays on the goofy, guy-next-door persona he polished in his earlier movies. Cab driver Jimmy Tong (Chan) is recruited for a job as chauffeur for Clark Devlin (Isaacs), an ice-cool millionaire who just happens to be a secret agent on the side. Hapless nice guy Jimmy longs to be as suave as his boss, and when Devlin is hospitalised after dodging an exploding skateboard, he gets his chance. Donning Devlin's hi-tech tuxedo, he develops superpowers, mastery of kung-fu and the ability to shake his booty; along for the ride is Del Blaine (Hewitt), a rookie agent partnered with Devlin to stop an evil water baron (Coster) from poisoning the Great Lakes.

The Tuxedo is the perfect vehicle for Chan's brand of physical comedy/martial arts blend, and he sells it well in the scenes where the clothes really do make the man - but this isn't anything long-time fans of Jackie haven't seen before, with riffs replayed from films like The Accidental Spy. Hewitt is passable but has little to do against Chan's action moments, and only Coster strikes as the amusing villain; as for poor Jason Isaacs, once he takes a hit on the head, he never appears in the movie again and one wonders if in a HK version they wouldn't have just killed him off. Overall, The Tuxedo is inoffensive stuff with some nice moments, but like other recent Chan offerings, it's Jackie on cruise control, with none of the jaw-dropping moments we love him for.

Jim Swallow


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