The Tuxedo is a well-paced movie, but certainly not in the upper echelon of Jackie Chan movies both from overseas and here in the United States. The key weakness in this movie is the weapon from the title…the tuxedo itself. The tuxedo gives Jackie Chan special powers, but is that what we really want to see in a Jackie Chan movie…Jackie with special powers? I would have to say no, but maybe I know too much about Jackie's prior work in Asia and the United States.
You can tell that Jackie was not in control of most of the stunts in this movie. You can also tell that Jackie even has a stunt double in this movie as well. There is a lot of wire-fu and less of Jackie doing the usual things he does in movies without special powers. The tuxedo in itself takes a lot of Jackie's charm away from him. There is little to no props used as weapons in this film, which is a Jackie Chan specialty.
This movie does go down like ice cream though. The useless plot is that a man who owns a good portion of the world's bottled water supply is going to put an insect that will poison the natural water supply of the world and make people die by dehydration by drinking anything but his own bottled water. Jackie plays Jimmy Tong, a taxi driver who is enlisted by the best secret agent in the world, Clark Devlin. Devlin is so good because he has the tuxedo, a weapon in and of itself. Jimmy becomes Devlin's driver, but a bomb hits the car and Devlin is knocked out of action. Devlin tells Jimmy to put the tux on and continue the battle.
Jennifer Love Hewitt plays a scientist who is sent to be Devlin's partner in taking down the bottled water guy. Thing is she has no clue that Jimmy has switched with Devlin and a little bit of hilarity ensues because Jimmy obviously has no clue what he is getting into. Hewitt actually is pretty good in this movie, combining her acting style from Party of Five and her sexiness from Heartbreakers. It is a great combination here, it is just too bad the overall plot wasn't a little more cohesive.
I just cannot get over the Jackie with special powers idea. It just introduced more of a chance for special effects to be used instead of Jackie's natural talent. I have a hard time figuring out why Jackie even signed onto this movie because usually he wants control over his own stunts. In some ways this movie has too much talking and too little action. It seems as if the movie does not use Jackie to his fullest. All in all, this was not a bad movie, just not great.
Final Thoughts: The Tuxedo is an ok movie. You can never expect much acting from a Jackie Chan movie, but Jennifer Love Hewitt does well with what she has. It would be nice if this movie jumpstarts her career into more serious roles. I think she is an untapped talent that is looked upon more for her good looks than her acting ability. She may not be the best actress out there, but I think she is capable of much more than Heartbreakers and I Know What You Did Last Summer. She shows some of that here where she actually has good chemistry with Jackie. The ability of liking this movie comes down to whether you can handle Jackie not doing what he usually does as much in this movie. There are a lot of wire-fu and special effect shots in this movie, there is not a whole lot of Jackie's natural talent on show here except in some fighting scenes where he does not have use of the tuxedo. This movie was not bad, it just was not great either. Definitely a renter when it comes out on DVD, but I do not know if you want to spend to go to the theater to watch this.