The Tuxedo (2002)

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Released 13-Aug-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Main Menu Audio & Animation
Scene Selection Anim & Audio
Deleted Scenes-9
Additional Footage-3 extended scenes
Outtakes
Featurette-Making Of
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 94:42
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (60:42) Cast & Crew
Start Up Subtitle Select Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Kevin Donovan
Studio
Distributor

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Jackie Chan
Jennifer Love Hewitt
Jason Isaacs
Debi Mazar
Ritchie Coster
Case ?
RPI $34.95 Music John Debney
Christophe Beck


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
Hungarian
Polish
Czech
Romanian
Greek
Turkish
Hebrew
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, outtakes run with the credits.

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    There are spy films and then there are spy films...and then there are spy films. The first category is epitomised by the likes of the Jack Ryan movies, and more recently, The Bourne Identity - they are more serious films that (mostly) keep within the bounds of reality. The second category includes the over-the-top action-thrillers that base themselves around ridiculously large amounts of double and triple-crossing, with more twists than a juiced lemon, but that still think they're quite serious. Mission Impossible is a leading contender in this category. The final type of spy films are "evil plot to take over the world" movies. These are generally not at all serious, and include not only the Bond movies, but their Austin Powers spoofs. There is now one more addition to the final category - this, the latest Jackie Chan effort, The Tuxedo.

    In somewhat of a break from the typical, Chan is not playing a law-man, or a destined-to-be lawman, but Jimmy Tong, a goofy New York cab driver with no idea how to walk in a straight line, let alone perform any martial arts moves. The one thing Jimmy can do is drive - fast. It is for this reason that he comes to the attention of super-spy Clark Devlin (Jason Isaacs), who hires him as his personal chauffeur. Clark Devlin has everything that Jimmy has ever wanted - the big house, the good clothes, and most importantly - the way with women. The one thing that Jimmy didn't count on was that he would have to become Clark Devlin when his boss is waylaid by the bad guys with the evil plot. Once he puts on Devlin's T.U.X. (Tactical Uniform eXperiment - one wonders how long the writers spent trying to come up with that), Jimmy becomes a whole new man, because the suit is able to control his actions and turn him into an all-fighting, all-dancing superman who is almost invincible. Using his new-found abilities, he partners with young CSA operative Del Blaine (Jennifer Love Hewitt) in an attempt to stop the megalomaniacal Diedrich Banning (Ritchie Coster) from taking over the world, or at the very least, the world of bottled water.

    If that plot description sounds a little silly, then it is spot on. There is almost nothing in this movie that is believable - in fact the whole thing seems like a live-action cartoon. The bad guy is creepy and very, very evil, and you can tell who he is because he is the only one in the movie with sideburns. The good guy can get away with almost anything because of his T.U.X. His sidekick - Del - cannot get a boyfriend despite being stunningly beautiful, with a likeable personality, and the government's secret organisation has no real clue of what it is doing, so it can be shown-up by a two bit taxi driver (okay, that could be closer to reality). Oh, and the bad guy has an underground lab. All bad guys need an underground lab.

    The silliness of the story aside, it is actually quite fun. Jackie Chan does his usual thing, while Jennifer Love Hewitt has never been all that difficult to look at. The combination makes for a good hour and a half's viewing. To delve into the artistic side of this movie is futile, largely because it is virtually non-existent. The performances are not all that much of a stretch for any involved - Chan does what he always does, while Love Hewitt simply turns on the charm to get the audience to like her. Peter Stormare is virtually a parody of every evil scientist that has ever assisted the bad guy who wants to take over the world, while Ritchie Coster has way too much fun with his evil, evil Banning. Even Jason Isaacs hams it up as the super-suave Bond...oops...Devlin, for the short time he is on screen. There are a couple of times when the film comes close to suggesting that the world is starting to fall apart at the seams as we pollute ourselves out of existence, but these are quickly glossed over so as not to disturb the audience too much. Aside from that, this film serves no purpose but to entertain, and that it does reasonably well.

    In the end, this movie will probably annoy as many as it entertains, simply due to how far "out there" the story is. It will probably help to think of this more as a sci-fi spy film than a contemporary spy film (although that still won't stop a number of "yeah...as if" thoughts floating along) - something along the lines of a Bond and/or Austin Powers with martial arts and slapstick. It is good fun, but does leave a slightly empty feeling at the conclusion.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This is a very good transfer indeed, with a nicely clear image that still manages to look film-like.

    Presented at the slightly cropped aspect ratio of 1.78:1 (the original theatrical aspect ratio was 1.85:1), this transfer is 16x9 enhanced.

    The clarity and detail of this transfer is extremely good. The image is extremely smooth, and while not as sharp as some, is considerably better looking for it. Fine detail is readily apparent, while never causing any shimmering. There is a constant presence of very low level grain, but it never really becomes noticeable, with only a few seconds of footage of the sky at 30:16 standing out. Shadow detail is as good as the other areas of the transfer, bringing a real depth to the image. There is no low level noise present.

    Colours are extremely good. From the gold-tinted hotel scenes to the blue-tinted CSA headquarters, all come across without any issues.

    There are very few artefacts all up. A few film artefacts appear as small flecks from time to time, with the worst similar to those at 5:07 and 13:35 - very small indeed. Aliasing is only occasional and light, the worst offenders being the tuxedo stand at 17:47 and the glasses worn by Jennifer Love Hewitt at 61:17, and there are no compression artefacts at all. An excellent effort, and one that really complements the other areas of the transfer.

    These are, hands down, the most comprehensive sub-titles to be placed on DVD. They cover every sound uttered by the actors, and even keep up with the fastest of Jennifer Love Hewitt's expositional monologues. The only downside is that the volume of text sometimes becomes difficult to read - but that is where the rewind and pause buttons come in handy.

    This is an RSDL formatted disc with the layer change taking place at 60:42 during Chapter 14. It is reasonably placed, although still noticeable because of the audio drop-out at this point.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    This is an excellent audio transfer, making full use of the potential of 5.1 soundtracks whilst never going over-the-top.

    This disc contains one solitary audio track - a Dolby Digital 5.1 track (at 448 Kbps) of the original English dialogue.

    Dialogue is clear and easy to understand at all times, and with Jackie Chan's rapidly improving English language abilities, few will find any dialogue difficult for accent reasons.

    Audio sync is generally good, although there is a slight problem early on where the secret agent is talking into his mobile phone. It seems as if the lines were re-dubbed, but it is hard to tell. Apart from that, it is spot on.

    The score gets a double act for this film with composers Christophe Beck and John Debney sharing the "Original Music" credit. Usually this means that one of the composers left the production part way through, usually following a disagreement with the director. Alternatively, it could have meant a short production cycle using two composers to get the film out on time. Whatever the case with The Tuxedo the result is seamless, and not unimpressive. The score carries the action very well, and is largely a modern-style effort which is well suited to a sci-fi influenced spy movie.

    Surround use is very impressive. The rear channels are in almost constant use, whether it be for ambient sounds, or for directional effects, but they never really sit up and say "here I am!" That is a very impressive achievement that really helps immerse the viewer in the experience of the film's sound.

    The subwoofer is also used very impressively. It backs up the numerous fight scenes and explosions with ease, and adds authority to the score at times, but is never overused.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    There is a decent selection of extras presented for this disc, although the lack of a commentary track may disappoint some.

Menu

    The menu is animated, 16x9 enhanced, themed around the movie and features Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo audio.

The Cutting Room Floor

    This section contains the following sub-sections:     All items in this section are presented at 1.78:1, are 16x9 enhanced, and feature Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo audio. Annoyingly, no "play all" option is provided for either the deleted or extended scenes, which means lots of moving and selecting.

Deleted Scenes (12:57)

    This section contains nine deleted scenes as follows:

Extended Scenes (5:43)

    This section contains three extended scenes as follows:

Outtakes and Bloopers (7:25)

    This is an additional 7:25 of outtakes and bloopers. Some are the same as appear over the end credits, but many are new, and all are quite amusing.

Featurette: The Making of The Tuxedo (13:03)

    This is your typical fluff-piece making of, including short interviews with the cast and director, and a very enthusiastic narrator. Watch it if you're bored. Presented at 1.33:1, not 16x9 enhanced, and featuring Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo audio.

Theatrical Trailer (2:21)

    The film's theatrical trailer gives a fairly good idea of what the movie is going to be like. Anyone who saw the movie after watching this trailer and then complained about it really needs to pay more attention during the trailers. Presented at 1.85:1, not 16x9 enhanced, and featuring Dolby Digital 5.1 audio.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;     The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;     Language issues aside, these discs are identical, so there is no reason to prefer one over the other.

Summary

    The Tuxedo is a fun, if rather cartoonish, spy adventure that features the martial arts abilities of Jackie Chan combined with the looks of Jennifer Love Hewitt - how could it go wrong? Despite that, it is really only one for fans of "evil plot to take over the world" movies.

    The video quality is excellent - the image is smooth, detailed and clear. A very impressive effort.

    The audio quality is just as good as the video, presenting a subtly immersive surround field that is still very active.

    The extras are not exactly extensive - only around half an hour's worth - but they are at least mostly worthwhile.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Nick Jardine (My bio, it's short - read it anyway)
Wednesday, August 27, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-555K, using Component output
DisplayLoewe Xelos 5381ZW. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-DS787, THX Select
SpeakersRochester Audio Animato Series (2xSAF-02, SAC-02, 3xSAB-01) + 12" Sub (150WRMS)

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Comments (Add)
Region 1 Has DTS -