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Volume 68, Issue 25, Monday, September 30, 2002

Arts & Entertainment

Chan's 'Tux' all flash, no real plot

By Andrew Beard
The Daily Cougar

Dr. John Bear, dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at UH, should avoid The Tuxedo. Although most moviegoers will be entertained by Jackie Chan's karate skills, Dr. Bear would cringe at the smorgasbord of scientific errors displayed throughout this film.

However, because the plot follows the James Bond formula, the mistakes are allowed. No matter how ridiculous the scheme (i.e. James Bond attempting to stop the monopolization of solar power and an assassin with gold poison), a movie following the Bond formula is able to overcome the flubs with action-packed fight scenes and beautiful women.

Jackie Chan plays James Chong, a New York cabbie persuaded to take a job as the personal driver for Clark Devlin, a secret agent with a magical tuxedo. Chong quickly warms to Devlin despite company rules like, "Don't look at Mr. Devlin," and "Don't speak to Mr. Devlin."

In The Tuxedo, Jackie Chan plays James Chong, a New York cab driver who stumbles onto a secret suit, enabling him to fend for himself and his sidekick while fighting evil.

Photo courtesy of Dreamworks

After a routine day of errands, Chong is caught in the crosshairs of an assassination attempt that leaves Devlin in the hospital. He decides to substitute for Devlin and immediately changes into the tuxedo. Despite the fact Devlin is about 6'3" and Chong is 5'4," it fits perfectly. Chong learns to control the suit with a special wristwatch select the Demolition code, and everything within 20 feet gets demolished; select Shake Booty, and instantly groove to the beat of Macho Man.

After working out the kinks, Chong is thrown into a covert operation with Del Blaine, played by Jennifer Love Hewitt, to stop Banning, the requisite evil genius bent on ruling the world. His weapon: water.

He plans to infect most of the world's water supply with a special ingredient that causes instant dehydration and death. To carry the poison, he raises a flock of water striders, rare insects that run along the top of water surfaces. After releasing the queen insect (upon further research, water striders don't have a queen), Banning will create a monopoly with his bottled water company as the only source of pure water. This is where anyone with a fifth grade-level science education would raise his or her eyebrows in confusion.

If you contaminate a majority of the world's water supply, wouldn't that destroy ecosystems and eventually kill the human race anyway? Ahh, who cares? Jackie Chan earns his paycheck with jaw-dropping stunts and amazing fight sequences.

The Tuxedo is unlike past Jackie Chan movies. It doesn't abandon other aspects of filmmaking for the fight sequences. Director Kevin Donovan and cinematographer, Stephen F. Windom made this more than a movie about a tuxedo. 

The style and color were impressive, especially Banning's evil lair.

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