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The Tuxedo (2002)
Director: Kevin Donovan

review by Ian Shutter

Taxi driver Jimmy (Jackie Chan) is hired as a chauffeur for wealthy playboy Clark Devlin (Jason Isaacs). When Devlin is attacked, federal agent Steena (Debi Mazar) recruits Jimmy as a spy to work alongside enthusiastic rookie Del Blaine (Jennifer Love Hewitt) on a mission to uncover an industrial terrorist plot to control the world's freshwater supply. To enable Jimmy to survive, let alone succeed, he depends on the secret gadgets of a hi-tech suit to get him out of trouble with the bad-guys and keep him ahead of the game...
   With 007 scribe Michael J. Wilson contributing to both storyline and the screenplay, a certain sub-Bond atmosphere is unavoidable, but there's no chemistry between Chan and his leading lady, who are so far apart in terms of age, race and cultural background, they might as well be from different planets. Hewitt's feigned laughter at Chan's increasingly anxious clowning is the chief irritant, and Chan looks rather embarrassed at Hewitt's attentiveness in regrettably inevitable romantic scenes.
   Among the supporting cast, Peter Stormare (and an uncredited Bob Balaban in a thankless cameo) struggle to bring some class to proceedings, but even their efforts cannot offset tiredly predictable sight gags and uninspired kung fu choreography between the bits of supposed hilarity - as hapless Jimmy struggles in vain to woo an Asian babe working in an art gallery. The less said about the sub-Austin Powers villain's allegedly fiendish masterplan, the better (it involves a swarm of mutant bugs), and there's also an unfortunately humourless cameo for legendary soul man James Brown.
   Diehard followers of Chan's US career may tolerate this more than sci-fi action fans, but even they will probably feel shortchanged by the ill-conceived shollowness of the material.
The Tuxedo

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