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The Tuxedo (DVD)
Member Name: wampyrii
The Tuxedo (DVD)
Date: 28/01/03, updated on 28/01/03 (172 review reads)
Advantages: Fun, Funny
Disadvantages: 2 or 3 good scenes, lots of padding, criminal waste of talent
The Bottom Line(at the top for variety)
If you like dumbassed Hollywood action comedies and are prepared for it to tread water a little at times with some decidely unecessary plot exposition then you?ll get the required bang for your buck. If not, then forget it and if you are considering watching because you are a Jackie Chan fan, then prepare to be disappointed by the amount of CG and wire-work employed in blatant disregard for his talents. It still offers more laughs than most straight comedies of recent times though. OK you can quit reading now, the rest is just waffle.
I?m going to have a sigh here. I was going to tear Hollywood a new one but I guess I?m as guilty as everyone else for encouraging them churn out crap and dumb down some of the better areas of world cinema with, it seems, increasing regularity by watching their movies. Hollywood has found a level of blandness, much like a McDonald?s burger, which no one who experiences really comes away feeling satisfied by but keeps on coming back for more because there is something difficult to dislike about a product consisting of few stand-out features. McDonalds burgers are appealing because they look great on the ads and don?t taste strongly of anything at all, so they can?t be strongly unappealing, Hollywood?s action movie churns are appealing because they look great on the trailers, stick to the tried and tested recipe and rarely explore any new avenues to ever be strongly unappealing. That?s how it goes and I wouldn?t mind but it bugs me when they drag in the rest of world cinema as well.
The Tuxedo?s criminal under-use of its star makes it more guilty of this than most in recent months. Jackie Chan may not be the most respected cinemtic icon in this country but you can?t fail to appreciate his acheivements in world cinema. He probably has more fans worldwide than the rest of Hollywood?s supposed megastars put together but since being
snapped up by Hollywood after producing 40 movies elsewhere he has been dumbed down to their level. It?s what they do, they do it with great independant directors as well, the examples are endless. Hollywood doesn?t *get* Chan?s appeal, so they use him as a name to sell movies. In Cannonball Run(he says, going back many years) they used him as a comedy Asian stereotype in a high-tech car - no doubt grossing rather nicely in the Asian market by doing so, in the admittedly fun Rush Hour they wasted his talents as a comedy side-kick to Chris Rock and in The Tuxedo we sink to all new lows because the part he plays could easily have been played by anyone else without anything being lost. Why? Jackie Chan is arguably the single most exciting stunt choreographer and martial arts performer in movies yet The Tuxedo has not one single moment which you could call 'real' Jackie Chan and worst of all, relies on CGI enhancements and wire-work to pull off its rather lackadasical moments of action. When you consider what Hollywood has seemingly in the palm of their hands you wonder just what the hell they are doing...
Anyway, you?ve probably gathered already that I?m not too impressed by this but the movie is worth a look so I?ll let you in on what it?s all about. Y?see, Chan is a shy cab driver Jimmy Tong(the movie?s first hard to swallow moment - there are no shy cabbies!!!) who finds himself in the employ of a certain James Bond styled figure called Clarke Devlin(Jason Isaacs) as his chauffeur. When later events land the secret agent in a hospital bed Chan decides to do his multi-functional tuxedo which pretty much affords the wearer super powers and goes on the hunt for a megalomaniac nutter who wants to control the world by poisoning the world?s water supply. Teaming up with the clueless Del Blaine(Jennifer Love Hewitt) en route who thinks he is the comatose secret agent Devlin because she has never seen a photo apparently, the stage is set for...umm, for Holl
ywood?s tried and tested mismatched partner scenario combined with their tried and tested clueless fish out of water scenario and their tried and tested spy movie spoofery with a dollop of tried and tested crowd pleasing special effects. Sigh.
I have no real problem with the plot or the cannibalism of other ideas to be honest, nor that we explore the same avenues at east one in every three action movies seems to explore but rather that it?s yet another huge missed opportunity. Jackie Chan is good at the slapstick physical comedy he is asked to do here again and yet the screenplay is so weak he comes across as a rank amateur. Furthermore, by relying upon special effects, wire-work and no doubt, by limiting Chan?s own input(or else it would be more adventurous!) you just end up with ?more of the same? rather than the kind of fresh ideas and exhilarating physical feats Chan became known for and which DOES make the slapstick stuff work above the level of average Holywood fare. Chan was trained in Chinese operatics, which basically brings a poetic performance to martial arts and that comes across in his own movies but in this and the others I?ve seen recently...no, nothing like it, they?re just punch, kick and avoid...they may as well have cast Jean Claude van Damne in the role! Erm, maybe not.
Anyhoo, The Tuxedo?s action scenes are fun even if they do come across as anything but your typical Hollywood kinda thing and do waste the talent at their disposal. In many respects it?s all a little reminiscent of Jim Carey?s ?The Mask? when the comedy action sequences kick in - Chan dons a tux and it turns him into an out of control(?cos he hasn?t been trained to use it) almost superhuman spy, trashing a room, walking up walls and across ceilings, scaling walls spider-man style etc. just the green face and the cartoon effects are missing. I liked The Mask and I like the action in The Tuxedo in many respects, but it is a little juvenile. ;o) In terms of acting,
there is little chemistry between Chan and Jennifer Love Hewitt and neither are anywhere near the top of the tree when it comes to playing out a role. Chan?s English is still poor, Hewitt?s acting never looks like it?ll improve either and to be fair, Ritchie Coster(who?) doesn?t make the best baddie in the world. Jason Isaacs doesn?t cut a bad Bond figure though which makes it somewhat of a shame he?s not in it very often....
Of course, neither the acting nor the plot matters because what you?re really supposed to be concentrating on is the action and the comedy which is the way of these things. The Tuxedo kinda gets that wrong too because it spends a rather ridiculous amount of time on the quite ludicrous narrative when it should have been going about the business of being mindlessly entertaining. You are taken down the road of what and why and when and how and ugh...when the plot is that a megalomaniac wants to poison the world?s water by sending a hoard of infected flies out arond the world then who cares?? We know it?s silly, THEY surely know it?s silly, or at least I hope they do, so why dwell on it as much as this movie does!? There are times when this kind of thing makes The Tuxedo drag which is a shame because when it gets on with the business of being dumb but entertaining then it does hit the spot. There are more funny moments here than in most so-called comedies released in recent times for a start!
You will laugh, you will be entertained but at the end of the day it?s more of the same once again and none of what you are presented with needs a Jackie Chan to make it work. Fans of his work will be deeply disappointed, fans of fun movies will be entertained if they leave their brain in neutral and expect it to tread water in parts. It?s average, you?ll have seen better and you?ll have seen far worse, whether you want to buy a cinema ticket to see an average action comedy is another matter entirely...
(Just in case anyone was won
dering about the title, yes James Brown gets yet another cameo role in this movie in what are actually the funniest scenes)