The Tuxedo
Dreamworks // PG-13 // September 27, 2002
Review by Todd Siechen | posted September 27, 2002
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The Hollywood machine lately seems particularly interested in a recipe of creating comedy/action duos with unlikely actors, then throwing them into a typical scenario, mixing it up and seeing what happens.

In this latest experiment, "The Tuxedo", they put together Jackie Chan and Jennifer Love Hewitt, made them secret agent/special forces/cop type characters, added in some snazzy hi-tech special effects, pyrotechnics, cleavage, and bad cliches and hoped for the best. This is the next vehicle spawned by the Hollywood marketing juggernaut that we all know too well. Suits should not make movies, creative types should. I will certainly admit that there are plenty of movies with this formula that I like. Maybe they have some interesting angle or quirky relationship to make them mildly interesting or an actor/actress that stands out in a particular delivery style.

I really like Jackie Chan. I also really like Jennifer Love Hewitt. Both of them have acted in several great films that I really enjoy. In "The Tuxedo" they both were fun to watch and had several situations that made the audience (and myself) laugh out loud. Definitely some new fresh characters that were easy to warm up to. The chemistry between them even seemed to go fairly well. The real problem with this film was in the basic story. It just didnt lend itself to an easy flowing film. It really seemed underdeveloped. Early on in the story several of the characters were not fully explained or established. I found myself just enjoying the scenes as they rolled along, but not really caring much about the story. Sort of like watching Saturday Night Live.

The story is centered around a hi-tech Tuxedo designed to give the wearer super powers. The user wears a wrist device that gives the ability to select from many different skills the tuxedo is capable of delivering to the wearer. Clark Devlin (Jason Isaacs) is the millionaire owner of this tuxedo who uses it for impressing the ladies and for saving the world from evil-doers. Although we never see him using the suit beyond a simple dance, Clark Devlin gets hospitalized and leaves the suit to his newly hired chauffer, Jimmy Tong (Jackie Chan) who recently was promoted from being a lowly cab driver. Jimmy then wears the suit and discovers quite comically, the powers the suit has.

Jennifer Love Hewitt plays Del Blaine the nerdy scientist geek by day, bombshell Kung Fu heroine by night who partners with Jimmy Tong who she mistakes as Clark Devlin for some reason. This part of the story wasnt worked out very well and was the beginning of many problems with the film. The dialog and character progression with Tong and Blaine was good and kept the film from sinking into oblivion, but the story just didnt keep me interested.

Final Thought: The Tuxedo gimmick to create a new form of super hero is interesting, but to title the movie "The Tuxedo" just goes to show that there isnt much to the film beyond the Tuxedo itself. With a different script there was potential for these character to create a good film, but instead we are insulted with more of the same yawn-fest hollywood predictability.

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