The Bad Move Club: The Tuxedo
There was a very impromptu meeting of the Bad Movie club earlier this morning. Not for any real reason at all The Tuxedo was on HBO this morning and I just turned it on; and most egregiously I watched the whole thing, from start to fucking finish. Jackie Chan is a national treasure—nay an international treasure. But this is one of the darker moments in his career and it really doesn’t get better the more you watch it. The 2002 directorial debut of Kevin Donovan still raked it in at the box office; mostly because it falls right in the middle of the the golden years for Jackie Chan. The Tuxedo falls right in the middle of Rush Hour 2 and Shanghai Knights, some of Chan’s biggest hits in America–especially if you don’t count the Kung Fu Panda movies which you shouldn’t. I remember seeing this movie in theaters and hating it which is saying something because in 2002 as a 9 year old there isn’t really much I didn’t like. Just in 2002 alone I liked such absolute garbage as Spider-Man, Scooby-Doo, Men in Black II, and most egregiously, Star Wars: Episode II. But here I am 11 something AM in the year 2017 and I find myself watching this movie again.
The movie opens on Jimmy Tong a New York City taxi driver who drives with the same reckless abandon and blatant disregard for humanity that Michael J. Leeson and Michael J. Wilson had while writing this screenplay. After driving Debi Mazar’s character around he gets a job as a private driver for the mysterious Mr. Clark Devlin. Not only does Mazar’s character serve no purpose in the film basically the only other scene she has is to serve as a close up of early 2000’s butt. And no if you were wondering this movie with two female scientist/secret agent characters doesn’t even sniff passing The Bechdel Test. The first act of this movie is pretty pointless, all the mystery and premise behind Clark Devlin’s character is stripped away the second he walks on screen. The first thing we learn about Devlin is that he has a bunch of rules that Jimmy Tong has to memorize to become his driver. And the first thing that Devlin says is “forget the rules, I hate the rules.” If Devlin hates the rules for his employees… then who the fuck wrote the rules?
This is of course when the actual movie starts, after Devlin gets critically injured saving his driver of about 48 hours in an attempted car bombing secret agent Clark Devlin gives his world conquering tuxedo to his driver… of 48 hours. Now that professional driver Jimmy Tong has the tuxedo that can literally do everything except blend into a crowd he must save the world from the dryest water since Fiji rocked the square bottles. And in walks Del Blaine played by Jennifer Love Hewitt. Blaine is such a bumbling idiot she is actually more useless than Jimmy Tong… the professional driver. The character is there just as a pair of tits–and listen we’re not gonna pretend here at Next Time On… just because we out here respecting women in 2017 that I am not also a fan of Jennifer Love Hewitt’s tits. It’s just worth pointing out that the only time her character manages to be of any help to Jimmy Tong, professional driver, it’s when she uses her cleavage–even though when her character was introduced she had a lab coat on and was a scientist. I think.
What’s Good About It?
The answer you’re probably expecting is Jackie Chan. This after all the same Jackie Chan who not five months later would do this:
No, unfortunately even the typically unwavering Chan stunts are lacking in this movie. The most fun scene is a pretty uninspiring wire-assisted “pants-only” fight in the hotel room of some woman Tong is trying to seduce for some odd reason. What’s good about The Tuxedo is the solid two to three minutes of James Brown we get. Both real James Brown and Jackie Chan’s version of James. It’s probably the only genuinely enjoyable moment in the movie. I’m a Jackie Chan fan, don’t get me wrong, but without his typical eye-catching stunts and armed with truly terrible writing his boyish charm doesn’t manage to shine through the muck.
What’s Bad About It
The writing is horrendous no doubt. The characters are both ridiculous and forgettable of course. The performances are lackluster at their best and nearly offensive at their worst. I could harp on how offensive it’s two female characters are, but unfortunately it was a rare action movie during the Bush presidency that didn’t have an actress serving as a pair of tits with a backstory. Let’s not forget there were two Charlie’s Angels movies. What’s truly bad about The Tuxedo is how absolutely fucking boring it is; even bad Jackie Chan movies could keep your attention for a few minutes.
You can’t think about that scene for too long of your nose starts to bleed. But I mean, cmon, fucking amazing. Complete nonsense and objectively terrible but still—fucking incredible.
Even though Hewitt has never once been in a good or even decent movie she has proved to be capable of at least producing a watchable cable movie. But instead Kevin Donovan took his two stars and gave us 98 unwatchable minutes. Which could explain why he was literally never heard from again.
What Level of Bad Are We Talking
Just a really disappointing evening
You are unlikely to really hate yourself for watching this movie, but with the extensive Jackie Chan filmography at your fingertips you would be hard-pressed to make a worse choice. Unless you are one of those 11 people who saw his movie with Johnny Knoxville last year.
Should You Watch It
Like I said, just watch a different, in all likelihood much better Jackie Chan movie. Or if you came to The Tuxedo for Jennifer Love Hewitt and you absolutely must see her watch a Catherine Zeta-Jones’ movie instead. You’ll thank me after.