The Tuxedo
Ill fitting
By Victoria Alexander

“Help me get these off. Pull. Harder!”

Terrible. This movie is so bad it puts you in Movie Insult & Conspiracy Mode. Insult-as in, is Rush Hour 3 such an invulnerable guarantee that Jackie Chan took a huge payday for The Tuxedo without caring a twit about the script? Conspiracy-as in, it actually took four people to come up with the idea for The Tuxedo and two people to write it?

Well, I would say Rush Hour 3 is now in jeopardy and this has got to be a clear sign that relatives of somebody got paychecks and film credits without turning up for work.

Jackie Chan is much too old to still be playing the Asian doofus. The audience knows he's 50 years old, for God's sake. We've been seeing him in movies too long to buy him as an idiot who can't ask a girl out for a date (also known as the Woody Allen subplot).

Jackie plays a cab driver named James who (Does it really matter? opines the screenwriters) mysteriously becomes involved with a fantastically wealthy secret government anti-crime agency, C.S.A. The star debonair agent, Clark Devlin (Jason Isaacs), needs a new chauffeur and the agency picks James (Two thousand a week plus room and board, a uniform, and a rule book he ignores.) After a mere few days driving the courteous and friendly Devlin around, they are victims of a car bomb. Devlin is seriously wounded (a completely face-covered body stands in for Isaacs in the few sloppily-staged hospital scenes-obviously his day rate was prohibitive so a cheap extra was used). Devlin doesn't need any skills-he's got a 2 billion dollar tuxedo that turns him into Superman Plus. Devlin tells James to put on the suit. No manual needed.

Want to dance? Dial up tango on the watch and hit the dance floor. Want to sing? Want to fight 10 guys? The suit does everything but act. The suit even adjusts to fit the wearer's body. Devlin's newest partner (and, because of mistaken identity, James') at the agency is Del Blaine (Jennifer Love Hewitt). This is not a good role for Hewitt. Her weight has dropped so drastically that she's all long nose and drawn face. This does not give her a good face for comedy. "The screenwriters" made her character 'all business,' but what you really think is Del can't get a boyfriend because she's starving. Hewitt does a humiliating roof fight scene called Squealing Scarecrow, Slipping Career.

Managers have to stop looking at a client's availability window and start reading the script.

So, who needs Jackie Chan in this movie if it's all about the suit? If the suit empowers anyone who wears it, why bother with Jackie Chan? Does Chan possess that much cinematic charisma? Chan's foundation for stardom rests on the notion that he does his own stunts. Well, with The Matrix et al, even Chan has to fly across the room on wires and do CGI backflips. The premise here, that the suit does all the work, defeats Chan's best asset. Not to say Chan doesn't have engaging charm, but The Tuxedo is a sham and is one of those vehicles that stars always do after big hits. No effort required, but their "quote" is handsomely met. Yeah, there's one very funny scene where Chan sings, dances, and really shakes his booty. Chan is so big now, he wants to act. He can make faces, but hasn't conquered the English language. Ah hell, those "screenwriters" indulge him-he's got lots of dialogue.

Chan knew how to pick co-stars. Chris Tucker has gotten very expensive, but there will be a Rush Hour 3 (let's hope "relatives" stay away from writing the script). The Shanghai Knights trailer looks awful, but it does have Owen Wilson in it. If Chan's management decided a fresh approach would be a female sidekick, they should have ignored the Entitlement Clause and found a volatile foil. Doesn't Sharon Stone need work? What, is a petulant Madonna too busy?