Review: “The Tuxedo”

James Bond spoof movie #4679 rolls off the line, this time its Jackie Chan playing a super spy who is actually a cab driver whose skills come from a rather slick dinner outfit. ‘Tuxedo’ suffers from all the problems which most spy satires face – no real interesting elements of its own.

Sure its ‘end of the world’ scheme at least doesn’t involve nuclear weapons, but the bad guy is dull as dish water, the laughs are far too few and our lead is seemingly more pandering to younger audiences than anything else. The script wanders around here and there into subplots which pretty much collapse in on themselves whilst logic seems gone out the window at times too. Its a shame really as Chan’s American films of late had been decent fun rides.

Chan himself is lacking the everyday charm and smarts in this character which makes Jimmy Tong a very unappealing lead. Nevertheless he gets to shine in sequences which have him doing his trademark stunts but with a sense of confusion on his face as though the suit really is not under his control. Hewitt is likable though one-note with a rather permanent sense of PMS around her at all times, whilst jokes aimed at her in her workplace are so cheap they feel like an entirely different movie.

Debi Mazar is more effective as she shows off her trademark dry sarcastic wit as Devlin’s assistant and Jason Isaacs is enjoyable to watch in a more light-hearted and nice persona than the film bad guys he’s become famous for. Peter Stormare is utterly forgettable, as is the rest of the support sadly.

There’s a good sense of pace to the proceedings which runs quite fast throughout, the sets are impressive and the music well scored. When the action does happen, which isn’t as often as one would like, its decent if uninspired. That’s the real shame here – there’s nothing which separates this from other dreck like “Spy Hard”. Something like “Austin Powers” at least had the 60’s element and tried to establish its own style. Nothing remotely like that exists here. Interesting how with decent production values like this, combined with a good cast that the result is what is arguably Jackie’s worst US film yet. Clothes definitely do not make the man.