The well-known little village from the Asterix and Obelix-comic books is in trouble: It is the last place not controlled by Rome. When Tax collector Claudius Incorruptus does not get his ... See full summary »
Disgraced Navy SEAL Shane Wolfe is handed a new assignment: Protect the five Plummer kids from enemies of their recently deceased father -- a government scientist whose top-secret experiment remains in the kids' house.
Set in 1890, the story focuses on Passepartout, a Chinese thief who steals a valuable jade Buddha and then seeks refuge in the traveling companionship of an eccentric London inventor and adventurer, Phileas Fogg, who has taken on a bet with members of his gentlemen's club that he can make it around the world in a mere 80 days, using a variety of means of transportation, like boats, trains, balloons, elephants, etc. Along the way, Passepartout uses his amazing martial arts abilities to defend Fogg from the many dangers they face.. One major threat to their adventure is a detective that's following them. Why? Just as Fogg and Passeportout left London, a major bank was robbed, with Fogg suspected of using the "around the world" trip as an excuse to escape.. Their path from London and back includes stops in Paris, Turkey, India, China and USA. Written by
Around the World in 80 Days (2004), starring Jackie Chan, currently has an IMDb user rating of 5.7. And they say it's one of the biggest flops in history, having failed to recoup more than a fraction of its (estimated) $110 million budget.
I say, give it time! Overseas box office plus rentals and DVD sales - this movie will turn a profit in the end. As I understand it, movie companies now make most of their money off the rental market, so I am rather mystified to hear that a movie flopped just because it didn't earn back its cost at the U.S. box office in the first couple of months of release. Doesn't seem like a fair and complete calculation to me.
Anyway, I go to the trouble of wondering about this because I thought this was a great and delightful romp of a comedy, and I believe posterity will be much kinder to it than "5.7". The movie is witty, beautiful, well-acted and contains virtually everything any kung fu adventure fan's heart can desire. Before watching it, I thought it would be more faithful to the original book, so I was surprised to see the Ten Tigers of Kwantung, and let me say the surprise was 100% positive. This movie is, absolutely first and foremost, a comedy. And it is something so rare as a literate one, which does not ridicule the premise it is based on. The movie makes the only right choice, namely to update the classic story and add new levels and new ideas, which keeps it fresh and adventurous. Let's face it, Jules Verne's science no longer holds up in the present day, so we have to make modified versions of the stories for a modern audience (hence also the very entertaining updated version of Journey to the Center of the Earth: The Core).
To see this movie as a remake of the 1956 movie - which seems to be the position that many reviewers take - is completely faulty. This is a riff/homage to the original novel, having nothing whatsoever to do with any previous movie version.
I thought Jackie Chan's part in this movie was great fun, and I was very entertained throughout. I can't think why it bombed in the U.S. I'm gonna get it on DVD very soon.
76 of 96 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?