Moving onto this week’s film, we were on a quest for a comedy film where the director never directed anything before or since it’s release. This actually turned out to be pretty tough for the genre. Not sure why. Perhaps it’s just more common for comedy directors to be given second or third chances at directing. Who knows. Regardless, we ended up finding the Jackie Chan classic The Tuxedo to fit into the cycle, which was directed by Kevin Donovan, a director known mostly for commercial directing. I’m excited for a little martial arts action comedy adventure. Let’s go!
The Tuxedo (2002) – BMeTric: 52.0
(I am stunned this ended up with this high of a rating! A BMeTric of 50+ is incredible high echelon stuff. Knowing the medallion though I can see it. It has been dropping a bit recently, probably (this is my current theory) because people who watched the film as children (you love everything when you are a child, see Hook and Hackers in my case) are now older and rating things online. I bet there are more than a few people who are like “The Tuxedo is bad?!??!”)
RogerEbert.com – 1.5/4 stars – The movie is silly beyond comprehension, and even if it weren’t silly, it would still be beyond comprehension.
Leonard Maltin – BOMB – Dreadful concoction casts Chan as a cabbie-turned-chauffeur who must take the place of his new boss, a dashing government spy; when he dons the secret agent’s tuxedo, he acquires superhuman skills. Boneheaded movie replaces (or augments) Chan’s dazzling martial arts skills with special effects; what’s more, the script’s t&a “humor” is a poor fit for the ever likeable star. Hewitt is incredibly obnoxious as Jackie’s new partner. Bob Balaban appears unbilled.
(Lots to unpack here. Leonard certainly has a lot to say. Love his excessive use of semicolons. Classic Len. Also love the shade he’s throwing at the script through the use of quotation marks around “humor.” Finally, he singles out Hewitt for being incredibly obnoxious. Is it possible that she’s more obnoxious than Chris Tucker in the Rush Hour series? If so, bravo.)
(This is late 90’s, early 2000s candy for my brain. I’m so excited. I think my two favorite things from the trailer are the “shake_booty” option on the tux… which is wonderfully awful and the fact that the tux is Devlin’s “2 billion dollar secret.” Haha, what? Why that amount of money? Is the cost of production an important plot point?)
Director(s) – Kevin Donovan – (BMT: The Tuxedo; Notes: An internationally recognized commercial and music video director. Was attached to direct Beverly Hills Chihauhau, but dropped out due to creative differences.)
Writer(s) – Michael Leeson (screenplay) – (Known For: The War of the Roses; What Planet Are You From?; BMT: The Tuxedo; The Survivors; Notes: A prolific and renowned tv writer he has been nominated (and won) several Emmys and was nominated for a BAFTA and Academy Award. Wrote for the Cosby Show)
Michael J. Wilson (story, screenplay) – (Known For: Ice Age; BMT: Shark Tale; The Tuxedo; Notes: Mostly a kids film writer as far as credits, I wouldn’t be surprised is he was a script doctor.)
Matt Manfredi and Phil Hay (story) – (Known For: Crazy/Beautiful; The Invitation; BMT: Clash of the Titans; R.I.P.D. (BMT); Ride Along; The Tuxedo; Ride Along 2; Aeon Flux; Notes: Look at that filmography! They kind of got their break with The Tuxedo and that have really come up from there. Ride Along in particular was a huge success. This movie was a patchwork operation though, for sure.)
Actors – Jackie Chan – (Known For: Kung Fu Panda; Rush Hour; Rush Hour 2; Shanghai Noon; The Forbidden Kingdom; Shanghai Knights; The Karate Kid; Kung Fu Panda 2; Rumble in the Bronx; Enter the Dragon; Kung Fu Panda 3; Supercop 2; The Legend of Drunken Master; Supercop; Police Story 2; Police Story; Operation Condor; New Police Story; BMT: Rush Hour 3 (seen it); Around the World in 80 Days (BMT); The Tuxedo; The Spy Next Door; The Medallion (BMT); Police Story: Lockdown; The Protector; The Cannonball Run; Cannonball Run II; An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn; Notes: Has the potential to be a BMT darling of sorts. The Medallion was a great BMT, so we are excited for this and Spy Next Door in particular. His movies often feature fight scene using props, cheeky slapstick humor, and a series of during-credits outtakes)
Jennifer Love Hewitt – (Known For: Can’t Hardly Wait; Heartbreakers; BMT: I Know What You Did Last Summer; I Still Know What You Did Last Summer; The Tuxedo; Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties; The Audrey Hepburn Story; The Hunchback of Notre Dame II; Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit; Delgo; The Suburbans; House Arrest; Garfield – The Movie; Notes: Probably best known for her television work (Party of Five for example). Married to Brian Hallisay (only BMT film: Jessabelle), and according to IMDb is a huge fan of the Glasgow Celtic Football Club.)
Budget/Gross: $60 million / $50,547,998 ($104,391,623 Worldwide)
(That is quite the budget. At the time Chan was huge though. Rush Hour (30 million budget ballooning to 140 million by the time Rush Hour 3 came about), Shanghai Noon (55 million budget), and this each came out 2 years apart from each other (1998, 2000 and 2002). I think they were looking for their next franchise to insert him into. Shanghai Knights and Rush Hour 3 subsequently kind of stopped Chan’s career progressing in its tracks. This movie didn’t help, 100 million worldwide, yikes!)
Rotten Tomatoes: 21% (30/138), Chan is as charming as ever, but his talents are squandered by special effects and bad writing.
(I feel like this consensus from RT could have also been used for Around the World in 80 Days. Like Chan was charming, but the writing was shit and he didn’t get to do his usual stunt magic.)
Poster – Ooooo, look at that font, sexy (D)
(I really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really do not like that background mix of colors. Makes it look like garbage. Only good thing I can say about it is the font for the title is bomb (Patrick Note: While staring transfixed by this poster I exclaimed “The font on The Tuxedo is … incredible!” Twin time). I would love to see Patrick try to spoof that shit.)
Tagline(s) – He’s Not Looking For Trouble… He’s Wearing It. (B)
Class. Action. Suit. (A…. mazing)
(I generally stick to just the tagline on the poster, but the second one here is just too good. The one from the poster is surprisingly decent. Just a little wordy. Otherwise fairly clever and tells me a bit about the film. The second one is ridiculous. Like what does “Class action suit” have to do with anything? It makes me laugh. I’m laughing at it right now.)
Notes – When Jimmy goes through Mr. Devlin’s address book looking for “Walter Strider”, he finds phone numbers for Claudia Schiffer, Norman Schwarzkopf, Stephen Sondheim, and George M. Steinbrenner III (first names added). All of the numbers have special characters inserted to ensure that they are not real numbers that people might try to call. (Literally the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard)
The “high tech” sniper rifle featured in the movie, is really a scoped competition air rifle from Steyr. Nothing is done to hide this fact, the gun is in its original state. (get me the internet movie firearms database stat! It’s a real thing and, yes, this note is specifically made here)
At the premiere there was a chimp in a suit and hat. (What, why?)
Bill Murray: Can be seen in the final gallery scene as a customer. (WTF, that is kind of hilarious)