Movies You Aught Not Watch is Nick Rogers’ weekly, alphabetical look back at the 52 worst films of 2000 to 2009.
It’s disgusting but fitting that 2002’s The Tuxedo opened with a shot of a deer urinating into a mountain stream. This completely worthless action-comedy represented another American-made pollution of Jackie Chan’s career.
The original Rush Hour was inspired, its sequels disappointingly less so, and Shanghai Noon and Shanghai Knights watered down the high-flying martial arts fun that made Chan famous. Diluted, though, was better than non-existent. The Tuxedo took away the kicks, but also sapped Chan of all his endearing comic charisma.
Chan is cabbie Jimmy Tong, who abides by a British spy’s dying wish — that Jimmy wear his tuxedo, which turns whomever’s wearing it into an unstoppable fighting machine. Annoying, unfunny and clueless, Jennifer Love Hewitt is a rookie agent who finds herself working with Jimmy as he tries to stop an evil bottled-water magnate.
The tuxedo’s features are more stupid than state-of-the-art, as “booty-shaking mode” finds Chan hitting a nadir of embarrassment while wiggling his rear in the villain’s face.
A script that crumbles under a landslide of ridiculous sexual innuendo finds a way to ruin even a surprise cameo from James Brown. And The Tuxedo is uncharacteristically grotesque for what should be a lightweight Chan outing; its finale feels like something from an Indiana Jones film.
The Tuxedo could’ve been for Chan what The Mask was for Jim Carrey. Unfortunately it’s what Leonard Part 6 was for Bill Cosby and the reason Chan is starring in even more unwatchable tripe like The Spy Next Door.