The Tuxedo

Bomb Rating: 

Undoubtedly, first-time director Kevin Donovan dreams of a golden shower. What other explanation is there for opening your first movie with the image of a deer launching a blast of warm piss into a stream and then having the camera follow the urine molecules all the way into a bottled water factory? Clearly, there's some fascination with urine here because urine-contaminated water has virtually nothing to do with this film.

I really have no clue what this guy is trying to get at. Is he suggesting that bottled water has urine in it? Even the lowliest of water treatment plants in the U.S. manage to rid our drinking water of most foul smells and chemicals. Sure, the main bad guy in this film, Diedrich Banning (Ritchie Coster) has concocted some plan to introduce some dehydration chemical into the world's drinking water, but I still don't know what that has to do with a deer urinating in a stream.

Maybe Jennifer Love Hewitt was really pissy on the set and Donovan was overwhelmed by his lack of directorial control? Hewitt plays Del Blaine, a CSA operative and partner to Clark Devlin (Jason Isaacs), an agent she's never met. This is fortunate because Clark gets hurt and his driver, Jimmy Tong (Jackie Chan), impersonates him. Consequently, Del doesn't know that Jimmy isn't Clark, even though one supposes she at least knows Clark has an English accent. Del must assume that Clark is just really deep undercover.

Jimmy discovers that the secret to Devlin's suave, debonair, secret agent schtick lies in a suit that looks like a normal tuxedo but which is really a unique piece of technology that allows him to do Kung Fu and sing like James Brown. A secret agent just never knows when he might happen upon James Brown and be forced to sing like him. Del and Jimmy team up to stop Banning from poisoning the world's water supply (with bugs, not urine) so that he can sell his unique brand of bottled water. Gee, you think anybody might suspect the one guy who seems to have the clean water?

Jackie Chan and Jennifer Love Hewitt have all the sexual chemistry of Bert and Ernie. I don't know what instructions were given to Hewitt, but apparently even the book on "acting like a bitch" was too complicated for her. Watching her in "The Tuxedo" is like watching the elementary school acting prima donna lose her temper on stage after flubbing her lines. Donovan deserves similar disdain for having no idea about the role good pacing serves in an action film. The movie goes down like an Ecstasy overdose -- it just ramps up and stays there, which is great for drug-induced psychosis, but not so good for a Jackie Chan film where the word "breather" does have an actual point.

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