Directed by: Kevin Donovan
Written by:Michael J. Wilson, Michael Leeson
Starring: Jackie Chan, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Jason Isaacs, Debi Mazar, Peter Stormare
Released: December 26, 2002
Grade: C+

For most of Jackie Chan’s movies, the only scenes worth recommending are the closing credits.  This is for two reasons.  Firstly, this represents the end of the movie and audience members can sigh with relief as they walk free from the cinema.  Secondly, Chan seems to insist on including “humorous” outtakes during the credits which primarily feature Chan’s poorly timed stunts and his inability to speak the English language.

If you’ve paid close attention to the trailers, The Tuxedo was made by Dreamworks Studios.  I’m a huge fan of this Steven Spielberg founded company, as they set a standard of producing quality films.  Since opening in the late 90s, they’ve churned out such Oscar winners as American Beauty, Saving Private Ryan, Almost Famous, Shrek and Gladiator.  So despite my reluctance towards the casting of Jackie Chan and Jennifer Love Hewitt, my fingers were crossed in hope of a pleasant surprise.

Luck wasn’t on my side as The Tuxedo disappointed in amazing fashion.  The premise is that agent Clark Devlin (Isaacs) has a billion dollar tuxedo that can do almost anything.  With it, he has no trouble capturing the bad guys and saving the day.  His recently hired limo driver is Jimmy Tong (Chan) who sees his boss badly injured in an attack on both their lives.  In his final words before slipping into a coma, Devlin tells Jimmy to wear the tuxedo.

Clothes make the man and for Jimmy, this is the ultimate outfit.  Back at the agency’s head office, a new agent is appointed to work along side Devlin, Delilah Blaine (Hewitt).  As she’s never met the real Clark Devlin, and with Jimmy going along with the charade that he is Clark Devlin, the two go in chase of a villain who is threatening to poison the country’s water supply.

Delilah’s character astounds me.  She’s supposed to be a secret agent and yet is brilliantly smart in some scenes, and unbelievably dumb in others.  The longer it went on, the more frustrated I became with her.  Chan’s opportunities to perform stunts are limited.  I hope it wasn’t director Kevin Donovan intention to rely on Chan’s acting abilities.  When actual fight sequences do take place, the film is edited so quickly, it’s impossible to tell what’s going on and who’s doing what.

On the dawn of the Oscar season, and with Christmas holidays in full swing, this is a substandard release.  There’s no need to get dressed up for this one.  In fact, there’s no identifiable reason to go at all.