The Tuxedo

Sharp Messed Man
Film review by: Witney Seibold



            I suppose if the first shot in a film involves taut close camerawork and suspenseful spy music laid over a deer peeing in a river, it’s something of an omen. First time director Kevin Donovan’s action/comedy “The Tuxedo” is a messy and unfunny mishmash of ideas which never rises above the comic power of the film’s first shot. Something of a feat, considering the film stars comic genius and
Hong Kong fighting cult icon Jackie Chan, and large breasted ingénue du jour, Jennifer Love Hewitt.

The story follows Jimmy Tong (Chan) as he is hired to be a chauffeur for Clark Devlin (Jason Isaacs). Devlin happens to be a spy for (ahem) the C.S.A., and owner of the titular high-tech prom wear. When he is injured by an amusing homing skateboard bomb (I swear I didn’t make that up), Jimmy plunders his closet, and discovers that the tuxedo can make one dance like James Brown and smash stuff up real good. Soon he gets a call from inexperienced agent Del Blaine (Hewitt), and they fall into a wacky plot, cooked up by a super-villain (Ritchie Coster), which involves poisoning the world’s water supply with insects in order to sell more bottled water. I’d tell you the details, but I don’t think the film knows how it all works itself.

            Jackie Chan is a funny man, and an amazing performer of stunts. One only need see Rumble in the
Bronx if one has doubts. Unfortunately, there is a bad bad trend in action films to edit myriad times during a fight scene. A note to action directors: Keep the camera still. We want to see the fight. Sadly, all the editing and close-ups allowed for very little of Chan’s panache to come through.

            Hewitt can hold her own, and could have made a great comic partner. Only in a better film. Also, “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” star Colin Mochrie has a cameo as a belittling art gallery owner. Oh, and James Brown is in it too. You would think this would make a good film, but it mishandles its elements, and falls very flat.




Published in: on April 28, 2009 at 9:12 pm  Leave a Comment  

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