Tuxedo (2002) – movie review

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Movie Review by Nigel A. Messenger

Starring: Jackie Chan, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Jason Isaacs, Debi Mazar, Ritchie Coster

Director: Kevin Donovan

As the current trend for spy movies and secret agents really gets into its stride Jackie Chan’s blend of action and laughs hits the screen with probably his best movie yet.

Jackie plays Tong…James Tong, driver to wealthy businessman and playboy Clark Devlin (Jason Isaacs), a man who not only exudes confidence and charm with beautiful women but also demonstrates a physical agility no ordinary man could match.

When Devlin is badly injured by a bomb attack on his limousine he tells Tong to take his cellphone and wear his watch and mutters the name Walter Strider.

As Tong searches Devlin’s apartment for clues he tries on a tuxedo which he soon discovers is no ordinary tuxedo as the suit is a secret weapon that gives the wearer extraordinary capabilities all controlled by the watch and he finds that Devlin is a secret agent for the American government.

Tong soon teams up with Del Blaine (Jennifer Love Hewitt), an agent who has no previous field experience, has never met Devlin and knows nothing of the agency’s secret weapon the ‘Tuxedo’.

Together Tong and Del Blaine must continue Devlin’s mission and stop what turns out to be an attempt by Diedrich Banning (Ritchie Coster), the film’s evil villain, to contaminate the world’s water supplies and control the only source of drinkable water on the planet.

THE TUXEDO has all the ingredients of a good Bond type movie – secret agents, a fast car, spy gadgets (the tuxedo itself), an evil supervillain and a beautiful female partner for the hero in the form of the gorgeous Jennifer Love Hewitt.

It doesn’t make the mistake of taking itself too seriously, there’s no Bond budget for one thing’, and rather than being an outright spoof it takes the course of a comedy adventure making only a casual reference to Bond in the ‘James Tong’ name of its hero.

The spectacular martial arts talents of Jackie Chan with his own unique comic interpretations of the fight scenes combined with Jennifer Lover Hewitt’s proven comic delivery (remember HEARTBREAKERS) make THE TUXEDO a totally entertaining experience suitable for any age group.

Any and all plot inconsistencies are immaterial, just be prepared to laugh from the soul when a cameo performance from James Brown is cut short when Tong accidentally knocks him out and has to take Brown’s place on stage with an amazing song and dance routine.

THE TUXEDO is pure movie fun and worth repeat viewings whenever you want to walk away with a big smile on your face, but don’t make the mistake of not watching the final credits as you’ll miss some extremely funny out takes that finish this movie experience perfectly.

6 out of 6 stars