In THE TUXEDO, Jackie Chan, as taxicab driver Jimmy Tong, has no martial
skills whatsoever. Don't worry; with the help of a high tech tux
and CGI special effects, he will acquire turbo-charged karate skills.
The movie's secret weapon, however, isn't the suit but is the pairing
of Jennifer Love Hewitt with Chan. They turn out to be a terrific
and very funny duo, with Hewitt stealing many of their scenes together.
It starts when Steena (Debi Mazar), a CSA (think CIA crossed with
NSA) agent hires Jimmy to be the driver for Clark Devlin (Jason Isaacs),
a centi-millionaire and free lance agent who does pro bono assignments
for the CSA. Jimmy's driving exam through the crowded streets of
New York is the first of many dazzling action sequences. This is
a fast paced action comedy that will keep your adrenaline pumping and your mouth laughing.
When Devlin is put out of commission, Jimmy puts on Devlin's magic
tuxedo and assumes his identity in order to track down his attackers
and save the world in the process. In the film's only uninspired
casting, Ritchie Coster plays the villain, Diedrich Banning, a bottled
water tycoon. With his bad looking sideburns and slight sneer, Diedrich
has little to suggest that he is anything other than some other guy's goon.
Working with Devlin, who is really Jimmy, is new CSA agent Del Blaine
(Hewitt). When Del dares to speak to the CSA head, a fellow agent
apologizes for her, saying, "She's having a filter installed next
week between her brain and her mouth." Del is a brash sort who is
surprised that the martial arts techniques that she learned during
training actually work in the field. Jimmy, even when the tuxedo
permits him to do amazing things, is always surprised at his abilities.
The lovable Jackie Chan -- the Charlie Chaplin of our time -- is
the master of the incredibly strong character who is completely and
forever unsure of himself.
The movie, which has more sexual overtones than other Chan films,
shows Chan off in new ways. The most surprising of these has him
as a song and dance man, replacing none other than soul sensation
James Brown. Chan also does his version of a lap dance by wiggling
his buttocks in a woman's face. Chan can do anything. And together,
Chan and Hewitt make an hilarious team worth seeing again. TUXEDO 2? I'm ready!
THE TUXEDO runs 1:39. It is rated PG-13 for "action violence, sexual
content and language" and would be acceptable for kids around 11 and up.
My son Jeffrey, age 13, thought it was funny and gave it ***. He
especially liked the tuxedo idea and having Hewitt opposite Chan.
Copyright © 2002 Steve Rhodes