The Tuxedo is like a Chinese meal. You've forgotten it half an hour later.

Jackie Chan's American movies have either been dire or fun. Shanghai Noon and Rush Hour are included amongst the latter category. The Tuxedo is neither one thing, nor the other; it's comfortably entertaining.

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When Arnie took up "acting", they put him into non-speaking parts (Conan The Barbarian, Terminator), because his English was so bad. Jackie suffered from the same affliction, except they asked him to talk, which was probably a mistake. Now that he can make himself understood, the scriptwriters give him refried gags.

He started as a stuntman in Hong Kong and became a star by creating a unique blend of martial artistry and humour. He may not have been the fastest fu in the kung kingdom, but he was recognised as the most innovative, using everyday objects as props in elaborate fight sequences that he choreographed himself. Also, he was famous for not faking it and initiated the now popular trend of using cock-up outtakes during the closing credits; he was never afraid to laugh at himself.

What of The Tuxedo? All is a blur.

Jackie plays a butler/houseman/skivvy to a suave Englishman (Jason Isaacs) in Manhattan, who might be James Bond or an international criminal, or a playboy. Amongst his collection of bespoke tailoring is a exquisite dinner jacket, locked in a glass case, which no-one is allowed to touch.

Bored, inquisitive, cheeky and Chinese, the irrepressible servant tries it on one day, when master is out, and discovers that it contains magic properties, which enable the wearer to fight like... Jackie Chan. When the going gets tough and bad guys explode out of the scenery, he doesn't take it off.

The only other person of note is Jennifer Love Hewitt, who plays a CIA operative, possibly, and looks sexy in a bulimic kind of way. For half the film, you think she's Ally McBeal with a black wig.

As for Jackie, he's slower, but no less enjoyable. Maybe, he's better with a sidekick (Chris Tucker, Owen Wilson) than a silk suit.

Reviewed on: 08 Jan 2003
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Jackie Chan fights Manhattan bad guys in a magic dinner suit that gives him special powers.
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Director: Kevin Donovan

Writer: Michael J Wilson, Michael Leeson

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

Year: 2002

Runtime: 98 minutes

BBFC: 12A - Adult Supervision

Country: US


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