Four words I didn’t plan on saying: Bring back Chris Tucker!
The bad guy in the movie may be evil, but he doesn’t do nearly as much damage to Jackie Chan as the script does. It’s a cute idea, miserably executed.
Chan plays Jimmy Tong, a guy who knows nothing about kick-boxing (“Everyone in China is not Bruce Lee,” he tells a friend) but drives very, very fast. He ends up as a chauffeur for a James Bond-style spy named Clark Devlin (Jason Issacs, as cool as a vodka martini). When the spy is injured, Jimmy puts on Devlin’s tuxedo, a high-tech wonder that gives its wearer the power to defy gravity, sing and dance to soul music, and, oh yes, fight.
Devlin’s new partner is Del (Jennifer Love Hewitt), a newbie out to prove herself. She thinks Jimmy is Devlin, so the two of them go off to save the world from a deranged wacko who wants to control the world’s drinkable water supply. There is too much time spent doing everything except what Chan is really good at, and when we finally get down to the fight scenes, they are nowhere near his usual standard, except for one brief moment when, wearing only the tuxedo pants and not the jacket, only his legs “know” how to fight.
The plot is even dumber than most of these things (oh yeah, I always schedule a huge formal party at my house the same night I plan to put my plan for total world domination into play), the attempts at humor are far below average, and there is no spark at all between Chan and Hewitt. The usual outtakes at the end show us one supposedly funny moment that perhaps reveals more of the reason for the lack of chemistry on screen than they intended. The movie is too gross for kids and too uninteresting for anyone else.
Parents should know that the movie has crude humor and gross violence. There are some vulgar sexual references. Characters drink and smoke (there is an anti-smoking joke). Del uses her cleavage to get past a security guard and both spies pretend to romance people to find out what they are hiding.
Families who see this movie should talk about the different kinds of courage. Jimmy is very brave about some things but not about others. What are you brave about? What do you find harder to be brave about?
Families who enjoy this movie will enjoy Chan’s much better films, including “Rush Hour” and “Shanghai Noon,” and especially his early Hong Kong work on movies like “Drunken Master” and “Miracles.”