The Tuxedo (2002)

Tuxedo

Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Corny, but fun.

I’m beginning to realize that Jackie Chan sure had a lot of movies in the early 2000’s. While everyone else is sitting there thinking of Rush Hour as Chan’s real popularity explosion, I remember thinking of a different movie, The Tuxedo. Honestly, I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I rented this film. It was even in my wish list on Amazon.com for a long time. However, since I began reviewing movies, I realize that I haven’t seen the film. So why not give one of my favorite Jackie Chan movies a shot? In the end, it was more meh than woohoo…kind of disappointing.

So basically, Jimmy Tong is a cab driver with an affinity for speed. He never got in trouble though, and never got into any crashes, and for some reason or another, the CSA (whatever that is) hires him as a driver for an American spy, which is pretty much James Bond. When the spy narrowly escapes death, he is hospitalized, and Jimmy Tong had to take over the job without anyone knowing about it. To do that, he dawned the spy’s tuxedo, which had powers. Think of it like spy gear, it’s a tuxedo that after synchronizing with your entire nerve system, can make you do crazy amazing things. The main case in this film deals with a man with homicidal tendencies that wants to kill his competition and be the only bottled water salesman around. You know, to strike it rich.

So, first I want to explain why I think I loved this as a child. If you ignore the plot, you have Jackie Chan in a magical tuxedo. That’s what I loved. It was something about being an average, everyday man who is able to do all of these different things because he has a super awesome spy tuxedo. If Q would have ever given James Bond anything like that in the 007 series, I really think they could have done something awesome with it, because part of the attraction to the series was the “cool” spy gear. It also showed a vulnerable Jackie Chan who doesn’t just start out knowing kung-fu, nor ever knows how to fight in the film. It’s all through this awesome suit. But here’s the problem…man is this film corny.

The plot of the film is like…an altered version of Goldfinger. I loved Goldfinger, but part of the reason I loved it was because the corniness fit the ‘60s theme. All they did is remove Gold and substitute it for water, and even then…I was confused. At first, I thought the guy was trying to make the best bottled water ever by making drinkers HAVE to drink it because it makes you thirsty, so you’d never stop drinking it. Then, I thought (and I’m pretty sure this is the real plan) that he would send off billions of bugs that contaminate every water source around the world so the only drinkable water would be his brand. Still though, it’s a stupid plot. It also worked for Goldfinger because no matter what time period you are in, gold is amazing…water isn’t.

Beyond that, the movie feels corny in general. It feels like something you might see on ABC Family or the Disney Channel, or something like that. It’s not entirely kid friendly, but the tone overall makes it feel kid friendly. Jackie Chan is amazing, by the way, but the movie barely even has many fights and the fights they do have aren’t all that special. It just wanted to show you how cool the suit is in varied states…but you’re watching this for Jackie Chan, don’t lie. He’s the best part of the movie, hands down. Jennifer Love Hewitt’s character is okay. I don’t have a huge problem with her character, but I also have never sensed any type of chemistry between her and Chan. Period. Jackie Chan is a great actor that has some of the best chemistry with actors I’ve ever seen, honestly…and for it not to be present here should probably give you a hint.

Like I said, I actually like the premise. The whole suit thing hasn’t ever been used, really, in anything else. It feels original in that sense, and if they picked a better plot the movie probably could have been that much better…but unfortunately, it feels wobbly, not sturdy.

The Good:
The premise to this film is awesome, and it will sure have kids dreaming of a super suit. The whole idea of having that extra 10% inside you all along is, as the film would suggest, admirable. Jackie Chan is good in nearly every role he plays.

The Bad:
The plot stinks. It’s a copy off Goldfinger, and not a good one at that. Overall, it feels way too corny for its own good, and I could see a lot of people starting this film off and stopping it right away, right when the deer lifts up its mechanical tail and pees. Not the best opener, guys.

Memorable Quote:

Jimmy Tong: You are very smart. Good speller.

Cheryl: Thanks, I graduated top two-thirds of my sixth grade class.

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