An adventurer, Passepartout, ends up accompanying time-obsessed English gentleman, Phileas Fogg, on a daring mission to journey around the world. Fogg has wagered with members of his London club that he can traverse the world in 80 days. Along the way, they encounter many interesting 19th Century figures and have many exciting and suspenseful situations in their voyage around the world.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.
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