Around the World in 80 Days (2004) Poster

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I didn't expect the Ten Tigers of Kwantung!
sarastro730 May 2005
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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Decent entertainment, but forgettable.
Jackie Chan has had a mixed time of late in Hollywood. There was the good fun of Shanghai Knights and around that was the poor duo of Tuxedo and The Medallion. This falls somewhere in the middle. Around The World is good fun. It's not great but it has charm and energy and is the sort of mindless, competent movie making that is hard not to enjoy watching. It's forgettable, could have been much better, but all in all not a bad way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

The look of the film feels very Disney. It is all very much orientated towards satisfying children. It's almost a cartoonish realism with the set design and costumes, clearly evident with Philleas Fogs gadget laden home. The action in the film and the looks could probably have been more gritty but in any case it looks very colourful and the various settings all catch the eye. It is clearly evident that the film had a lot spent on it, although some of the CGI effects are not of the standard expected from a $110 million film.

Cast-wise, Jackie Chan as ever is good. He's a comical genius and as usual performs his own stunts. The fight scenes are good. Nothing compared to Chan's Hong Kong stuff but far superior to much of his Hollywood action. Steve Coogan is someone I am a big fan of. He is the dog's hairy things as Alan Partridge. He is a comical genius. He doesn't seem as entirely natural here though and the character he creates doesn't always work. It seems too cartoony at times especially the accent. Cecile De France is very good as Coogan's love interest. She is attractive, in a cutesy sort of way but she has a charm and a likeability that works very well and the three leads seem to have a good chemistry. The rest of the cast are all excellent with a huge list of supporting parts and cameo's including an excellent Jim Broadbent, a great part for Ah-nuld Schwarzenegger, and it was great to see him on screen with Chan, also Rob Schneider, Luke and Owen Wilson, John Cleese, Kathy Bates, and particularly exciting to me as a Hong Kong action fan, Sammo Hung. The best supporting part for me was Ewan Bremner as the accident prone police sergeant.

Overall it's worth watching and is entertaining enough but don't expect it to blow your socks off. ***
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Three Screenwriters Named Dave
Quicksand16 June 2004
The credits roll, and I sarcastically turn to my friend, and whisper, "Dude, 3 screenwriters, and they're all named Dave."

Oddly enough, that turned out to pretty much sum up the whole movie.

It's not BAD. It leans toward good, except it's not so much a remake as it is a Disney-fication. Like 'Cinderella' and 'The Little Mermaid' before it, Disney takes the title of the story and a few major characters, and just turns it into a theme-park attraction with emotional and dramatic resonance to match.

Frank Coraci is solely responsible for making Adam Sandler's star stick. "Happy Gilmore" was cute, but it didn't have the style of a REAL movie, like his two films with Coraci, "The Wedding Singer," and "The Waterboy." Those films work as FILMS, not just Adam Sandler vehicles.

I had high hopes for this one, and for that reason, it splatted. Amusing lines here and there, and great kung-fu choreography ruined by the same poor photography that screwed up "Rush Hour." This is martial arts. DO NOT shoot your actors from the waist up. Things happen too fast, people are moving in too many directions. So in "80 Days," like in "Rush Hour," I had a sense that there was martial arts taking place, but could barely see it. Coraci does pull the camera back a few times, down to the ankles maybe, so a few scenes are reasonably well-shot. But not as well as they could have been. In fact, the entire movie feels rushed, like they're trying to cram the whole script into the alotted time frame. Some "Indiana Jones"-type pacing would have worked wonders, even if it made the movie 30 minutes longer. We're still talking about the book 100 years later for a reason, you know.

What could have been fun for everyone turns into Disney-video wackiness that will barely appeal to anyone over 13, and not at all to any fan of Jules Verne. And thus the old rule applies once again.... the more screenwriters, the worse the film. Even if they're all named Dave.
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An uneven package
TheHande20 August 2006
"Around the World in 80 Days" is not luckily Jackie's worst film, that is still "Tuxedo".

What makes 80 Days such a taunting movie is its unevenness. The film switches between light-hearted to serious and even between various styles of comedy, from Jackie's classic slapstick, to witty, to vain, to gross-out and even Python-style comedy.

As far as fight-scenes go, they are well choreographed and Jackie can luckily still kick ass. There were some parts of the film that didn't make a whole lot of sense and because of the massiveness of the plot it feels rather long. Luckily the changes in style keep the viewer on their toes but the climax was not very satisfying however.

All in all, Around the World in 80 Days is an amusing film to watch. It has both great and not-so-great moments and may be a little too unconventional for Jackie's fans, but a good movie none the less.
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Is this a Coogan or Chan movie?
ofjeworstlust6 August 2004
Is this a Coogan or Chan movie? That's the only puzzling thing about this movie. For the rest simply an action packed adventure, with a little too much romance on the side. 15 years ago this movie would have been a great success in the line of Goonies or a Disney flick.

Now a little overacting at times (the English cop who follows the main characters for example) is compensated with great cameos, I won't give them away, but keep watching!

Coogan is just like in his tv series, the well-known expressions and faces are shown. Just his character, can anyone be that naive at times???

Chan is sometimes the comedian with oneliners, and sometimes the actor with bad lines. His fights rule, his acting still didn't. It didn't spoil the movie, but the plot that kept returning to the 'chinese connection' almost did. I didn't expect a co-plot, just Fogg travelling around the world!!!

Don't believe the viewers describing this as a kid-movie. If you liked Goonies in the past, read the book and like Chan's unbelievable fighting scenes, you will be satisfied. 6/10 from me.
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It's a Fun Film Folks, Not a Serious Re-make of a Classic
Ralph Michael Stein16 June 2004
There are classic films and fun films and even, very rarely, fun films that become classics. That's certainly true of Mike Todd's 1956 "Around the World in 80 Days" which captured much of the fantastical verve of Jules Verne's original story. That movie also introduced, basically for the first time, the idea of an onslaught of cameo appearances by famous screen stars, not always readily identifiable.

So now as we start to bake at the beginning of a long, languid summer, new director Frank Coraci gives us the irrepressible but getting a bit long-in-the-tooth master acrobat/gymnast/kung-fu artist/stunt man Jackie Chan in a very loose adaptation of the Verne novel.

Chan is Passepartout, valet to the inimitably neurotic inventor, Phineas Fogg (Steve Coogan), but in this film his real identity is that of a Chinese fellow, Lau Xing, whose mission is to return a stolen Buddha statue to his village. Nefarious English lords have an imperialistic and self-aggrandizing plan of their own which includes tearing down the Great Wall of China to get easy access to jade mines. Jim Broadbent is superbly Victorian-evil as Lord Kelvin, the head of the Royal Society of Science who challenges inventor Fogg to succeed in traversing the Earth in 80 days or else cease and desist forever from engaging in scientific experimentation and Rube Goldberg-like inventing.

Passepartout, who swiped the Buddha, has both cops and Chinese killers, led by a woman, General Fang, in hot pursuit and his service to Fogg is a guise to get back to China.

Arriving in Paris, they are joined by the beautiful semi-Impressionist painter, Monique La Roche played by the rising young French actress, Cecile De France. Winsome and cute, De France clearly had a great time making this flick.

Coogan plays Fogg very well-in fact he's the most interesting actor in the movie. He took his role of a Henry Higgins-type scholarly recluse who slowly falls in love seriously.

The story proceeds predictably. While Chan is the star, his performance is simply a well-choreographed reprise of past made-in-the West films where he can show off his skills. It's "Shanghai Night" all over again. Perhaps this is his last such movie as his announcement earlier this week that he intends to be a "serious" actor from now on pushed Iraq, gasoline prices and the Bush-Kerry campaign off the front pages.

As with the original movie, cameo appearances are a small but welcome treat. The guy who beat Mary Carey for governor of a western state last year is really devilishly funny as an Istanbul prince with a harem and an eye for acquiring Monique. The Wilson brothers play two young and later to be famous siblings whose great stunt at Kitty Hawk supposedly changed the world. And Cathy Bates seems to have had a tough time not laughing as she acted the part of the hardly imperious Widow of Windsor.

The set designs, cinematography and special effects are really excellent. I can see several Oscar nominations forthcoming.

Don't take this movie seriously-it won't dislodge the original from the pantheon of lastingly memorable films. Enjoy it as the summer fun vehicle it's meant to be. Or in any event is.

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A wonderfully fun film.
halo_kitty28 November 2004
This film is an extremely fun take on Jules Verne's novel. The storyline and characters are radically different than the originals, but there is a purpose to every detail in this movie. Phileas Fogg is a representation of Jules Verne himself, someone who sees the future. Steve Coogan performed marvelously in displaying the vulnerability of a man who wagers everything. He makes the character lovable and amusing. Jackie Chan brings to the table his classic fight choreography and humor, as well as branching into types of comedy he had not worked with before. Cécile De France is the most charming face in the film and brings an amazing spirit to her role. Jim Broadbent and Ewen Bremner provide some of the greatest laughs. Also notable is the choreography of color for each country. England is gray and dreary, lacking color. France is full of light pastels. Turkey brings in strong colors of gold, blue, and bright white. India is full of deep brown, orange, and green. China provides a lush, natural green background and warm, welcoming earth tones and dark blues. Everything is designed to take audiences on a journey around the world. The end result is a beautiful film that is suitable for all ages and provides that wonderful feel-good sensation that only the greatest adventures can provide.
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Around the world in 120 minutes
Mark13 January 2005
Jackie Chans latest movie has just hit our DVD stores shelves (well in Australia at least) and I thought it was about time I submitted my review. The story is very loosely based on Jules Verne's novel of the same name, it involves an eccentric inventor Phileas Fogg trying to race around the world and end up back in England within 80 days while the evil Lord Kelvin tries to make sure he does not win and become the head of the royal academy of science. Before you watch this movie there are a few things you should know, its made by Disney, so its going to be a movie that is aimed at all ages and very family friendly and it also got a PG rating so its a relatively pleasant movie.

Having always been a Jackie Chan fan I may be a little bias but I found this movie great fun, much more than I was expecting. All the backdrops are gorgeous, and everything has a fun feel about it, this is the kind of movie that is just purely for entertainment, very light very easy but all together a fun ride that you should want to see again. A lot of cameo appearances are in this movie and ad a whole lot to the feel of the movie and all the main actors play their parts very well. The DVD extras are not much and what should have been a highlight, the deleted scenes where ruined by the director talking over then and making then a waste of time.

I can not mention this enough- this movie is very lite, do not see this expecting a life changing experience and just let yourself be taken on the ride.

This movie deserves 8.6 out of 10 Now that is cheap to hire do yourself a favor and take a look, you know you want to.
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cute movie that is better for those who haven't read the book
Very unfaithful adaptation of the Jules Verne novel, yet much more entertaining than the tedious and wildly overrated but relatively faithful David Niven version. The movie is breezy and enjoyable, with some fun fight scenes, although it is completely inconsequential.

I think it would help when watching this movie to have not read the book, because one cannot help but think that the extensive rewriting was not necessary. Passepartout's character could have been expanded for Jackie without so many other changes. Changing Phineas to a bumbling, goofy inventor was clearly done in an attempt to make the movie into another version of the buddy movie that has been Jackie's greatest friend in the U.S., but Coogan is unexceptional in the role and doesn't have a lot of chemistry with Jackie, so they really should have just done the character as written, which could have made for a much smarter movie.

In spite of plot holes and some silliness though, I enjoyed this, at least in that, watch-a-movie-on-TV-on-a-Saturday-morning way.
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What about reading books, gentlemen?
a_gazibarov29 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
If Jules Verne is just a French name with too many letters for you, than you would like the film: funny situations, Jackie Chan fighting as usual, a bit of love, and a lot of absurdities (like a small Chinese child speaking Engish in the middle of China).

Maybe Jules Verne is just a French name with too many letters for the script writer, the director, and the producer? Or maybe these gentlemen consider themselves something more than the great French writer? Mr. Fogg cannot just be a boring London gentleman who fired his servant because he warmed his water with 0.1 degrees less than required. He cannot bet just for fun. He shall be something. Let him be a crazy inventor! Passepartout cannot just roam seeking a job. Let him be a thief. Let him be a Chinese thief! What do Chinese do? They fight! And now we have a subplot Mr. Verne has never dreamt of. It is not interesting saving Princess Auda from being buried alive. Let her be a French artist named Monique.

And, the Grand Finale! Deus ex machina! Queen Victoria playing the clown. "You have 24 hours more, Phileas!" - "Oh, really! Than I have won the game, because I didn't take into account the date switch meridian". And everybody's happy! Read books, gentlemen! Especially classic books, as Jules Verne's Le tour du monde en 80 jours.
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"Everyone around the world, join the celebration!"
This movie provides a brilliant new spin on Jules Verne's novel by having Phileas Fogg be an eccentric inventor and Passpertout be a Chinese thief who joins his service to escape the police. The actual journey around the world in the film is very enjoyable as they hook up with young artist Monique and attempt to circumnavigate the globe in eighty days.

Jackie Chan is as brilliant as ever at the high-flying action and the physical comedy. Steve Coogan thankfully plays it straight for the film as Fogg, whilst Jim Broadbent makes a suitably hateful villain of the slimy Lord Kelvin. TRAINSPOTTING's Ewen Bremner also shows up as an inept police inspector, constantly being physically abused in the name of comedy. There are also cameos galore from the Wilson brothers and Macy Gray to Governor Arnie and Kathy Bates. A friend of mine described this picture as being good fun for all the family and I must say that I agree.
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How bad is bad - this may answer that question
lani4-886-90361512 September 2012
My husband had ordered the DVD of this film for both of us thinking we'd both have some good laughs by watching it. Well, I don't quite know where to begin. This movie is so bad and so unfunny as to be almost painful to watch. We usually thoroughly enjoy Jackie Chan movies and he did try but given what he had to work with even he couldn't salvage this disaster. I suspect he's embarrassed by how bad this movie actually is. Some movies that are bad are actually so bad that they become funny. Sadly this thing wasn't even bad enough to be funny the way Atomic Twister managed to become funny. There was another bad movie that I saw on TV a few years ago - I have forgotten the title - that had lava flowing out the door of a garage only after the door was opened, as if the garage beside a house in NYC could contain an 8 foot deep mound of molten lava, that movie was so bad it was funny! I have only once before given up on a movie part way through but at what I assume was about half way through the India part if this trip around the world I turned it off.

I kept hoping this movie would get better but it didn't. If anything it got worse as it went on. The gags that were supposed to be funny were dragged on and on and on and since they started out bad the longer they went on the worse they got.

If you're thinking about buying this DVD, don't bother.
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So boring that even my 10 yr old son didn't laugh.
brian-66721 June 2004
My son took me out for a movie for Father's Day. He chose this movie... probably not my first choice, but I do like Jackie Chan. The humor fell so flat that my son, who will laugh at just about anything, must have only laughed about a half dozen times during the whole movie. What a boring waste of time!

The script was so bad that it was beyond the ability the actors to do anything with it. In one seen a boat captain, played by Mark Addy, commented that he had been bitten by a shark and opened his coat, away from the camera, to show how he had lost "both of them" to the shark. Later we learned that "both of them" meant his nipples. The gag was so lame that the several later references to his nipples had nowhere to go.
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baba4471319 December 2005
This movie has "Based on the book by Jules Verne" on the opening credits. This is an insult at the least. It has absolutely nothing in common with the book except the names of the characters and the fact they go around the world in 80 days. Although even that is not the focus of the movie - it should be called "A string of unfunny gags on a few exotic locations".

I rented this movie because I thought it would be fun. Sure, Phileas Fogg is now supposed to be a clumsy inventor, and Passpartout is played by Jackie Chan, but what the hell - it looked like some perfect light entertainment. Hell, Ebert gave it three stars so it must have SOMETHING watchable in it, right? Two minutes into the movie I knew I made a serious mistake. Five minutes later it became embarrassing. Overacting, slapstick humor that is probably too childish even for children, bastardization of the original material to the point of unrecognizability... I almost never give up on a movie, but I must say I checked about five times if there is ANYTHING else on regular TV program, that's how bad this thing was.

When I watched the additional DVD material and saw the director saying what a big fan of Jules Verne he was and how Verne would love his "new" version, I almost threw something at the TV. Jules Verne would love this? Chinese kung-fu fighters battling with paint? Silly Jade Buda figurines and idiotic Scotland Yard inspectors? Conversations about prosthetic nipples?

Awful, awful, awful. See this movie only if you are a big fan of Jackie Chan (although in that case I seriously recommend re-watching his early stuff over this crap) or you want to play a spot-that-actor drinking game since the movie has a surprising string of cameos. Other than that, this atrocity is best left forgotten.
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Poor Jules Verne must be spinning!
Simlady5 June 2005
It is a sad commentary on our lives when true classics of fiction can be made into commercial garbage like this. Action movies might be popular, but they certainly are not quality motion pictures, and this is an insult to a very fine author! I thought this was a joke, but saw later it was not. I am not amused.

The 1956 version is gorgeous, and full of fun cameos. The 198-something mini series is loaded with stars, and has the added value of a FRENCH (at least the character is) Parspatou. I am not even going to acknowledge the nationality of the one in this movie!

Sorry, as a Humanities Major, I just cannot understand what is happening to the quality of movies these days. Anything for a buck, it seems. When it starts to take over really fine literature, I just have to complain.
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wait until it's on network TV and nothing else is on
imdb-388220 June 2004
The movie was bearable for me but nowhere near as good as the original. My newphew enjoyed it for many of the reasons I didn't: Asian kung-fu fights and pre-teen humor.

Really the problem is two-fold. First problem: Steve Coogan as Phileas Fogg just fell flat. The original David Niven played a classical English gentleman who had many faults but acknowledged none of them, he was arrogant, and he was lovable for it. Steve Coogan just played a wishy washy, insecure, nobody. The story really hit bottom when Phileas Fogg had to take lessons from Rob Schneideron being a panhandling bum in San Francisco.

The second problem was Jackie Chan as Paspartou. I will say Jackie Chan played his role as best as he possibly could given the bad screenplay and if Steve Coogan had played an arrogant cock-sure Englishman blindly moving from unobserved danger to unobserved danger with Jackie Chan valiantly trying to save the day, this movie may actually have worked. But alas, these days movie audiences are too sophisticated for such gimmicks, they need international conspiracies, rip offs of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and huge kung-fu battles that really don't make much sense.

Even the cameos that are supposed to give the film star appeal fall totally flat. The only cameo you really notice is when our intrepid adventurers meet Prince Hapi (aka Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger) and you really only notice that because the screenplay was badly butchered to hijack our heroes and place them into the Prince's lecherous clutches for no understandable reason and then again because Governor Schwarzenegger was really, really bad!

In the end this movie is a 'wait until it's on network TV and nothing else is on' bomb. I give it two out of five stars.
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Completely forgettable
Imdbidia17 March 2011
Sometimes I wonder why the Industry keeps remaking classic films and stories without putting its heart in it. If you don't put your heart, and the story is already known, no especial effects, no famous actors, no fancy thing will save the movie. This is a perfect example.

The actors are all miscast, dull and not believable in their respective roles and performances. Only Jackie Chan can be saved from the pyre.

The director and the producer have worked really hard to turn a story that is always charming and entertaining into something boring, pointless and badly done. A caricature of any previous version and of the classic story.

Better go to sleep or pick up the book. You'll save your time and your dreams will certainly be more interesting.
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Buyer (and British history) beware!
stevphel18 June 2004
I rarely write reviews here - only when a movie is extremely good or extremely bad. This movie falls into the latter category. I was literally dozing within 5 minutes with this piece.

Some of the more egregious moments in the first 20 minutes: . Treatment of Lord Kelvin

Lord Kelvin died in 1907 and was appropriately buried next to Issac Newton in Westminster Abbey. He published 661 papers, took out 70 patents and had more initials after his name than any other man in the British Commonwealth! He is presented in this movie as a buffoon. . The is no Royal Academy of Science in the UK, it is called the Royal Society .The president of the Royal Society is not the minister of science . The minister of science has very little power in the UK let alone the power to "run everything". . Lord Kitchener was Secretary of War in World War 1 - not head of police . Arnold Schwarzenegger (an Austrian by birth) as a Turkish prince was the last straw.

You have been warned...

As we have known for some time, no historical fact is sacred in the pursuit of a bad story.
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kalmoth14 May 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Why even bother to make this movie? There is a classic 1956 adaptation which is near-perfect. With this new "adaptation", there is not a single thing done right. It's a travel movie with location shots looking fake because of bad computer graphics. Steve Coogan is horribly miscast as Fogg, Jackie Chan is miscast even worse as Passepartout. The gags (I presume that's what they are) are beyond comprehension - consider the whole part with the captain whose nipples got eaten by a shark (I wish I were making this up!). Direction is flat, fight scenes stale, the screenplay takes completely uncalled-for liberties both with the novel and with the historical setting, some of which are borderline libelous, for example, naming one of the movie villains after the greatest British physicist of the nineteenth century (and an extremely kind and modest person, according to all his contemporaries)... After this turkey was released, Jules Verne must have spun in his grave for 80 days.

Given a choice between this movie and the Shopping Network, I would suggest the Shopping Network.
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Really ghastly
Oak Owl24 November 2006
Not funny, and none of the spectacular scenery of its 1956 predecessor. Phineas Fogg is played by an unknown who deserves to stay unknown. He speaks his lines as if they filmed at the first cold reading. Dull. Dull. Dull. Jackie Chan is wasted as Passepartout. His role has no humor, no dramatic action/stunts. Why?

What might have been charming or a clever parody was instead mind-numbingly dull. Those of us who assembled for a Friday night pizza-and-movies assumed the "French woman" was doing a really bad imitation of zumeone who izz, ow you say et? Franche. We were stunned to discover from IMDb that she really IS French. And the Governator's cameo was simply disgusting.

Save your cents/sense. Rent the original instead.
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russem3124 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Oh, what can I say about "Around the World in 80 Days" - it was one of the silliest films I ever seen (and this isn't a good thing for those paying attention). I'm not sure what the filmmakers were trying to accomplish with this, but by making the concept comedic, it took out any realism this film could have had. Even in a Jackie Chan comedy, at least there's a reason to be funny - I can't say the same thing about this. It's as if the only reason to go around the world is to show the different parts of the world (not to service the story). And there are very silly cameos that don't do those actors justice (I won't name names, but you WILL know if you see the film). A dismal 4 out of 10.
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Heart-warming retelling of a classic story
Elswet31 January 2005
Much has been said concerning the lackluster box office revenue generated by this attempt. My only comment towards this condition is to say that it was not marketed properly. Most Americans had no idea this movie was even being made. There was no "media blitz" to hype it, and the proceeds reflects that neglect.

This is NOT a remake of the original movie. It is also NOT a faithful adaptation to Jules Verne's literary work. What it IS, is a delightful comedic (dare I say "parody?") version of a story many of us have enjoyed. It is labeled a "Disney" production, but in truth, Disney only distributed it. But it is made with Disney's involvement firmly in mind and is a fun, adventurous, and even rousing family movie.

Now as a version of Around the World in 80 Days which lists Passepartout before Phineas (here, known as Phileas) Fogg, this had no business pulling itself out of the mire. Passepartout is a supporting character, not the main. However, I must say that no matter who the principle character was, Jackie Chan's Passepartout was the star. Steve Coogan proved himself more than capable of commenting the Phineas/Phileas role and did so with a crisp dignity one can only hold in regard.

Jackie Chan exhibits some of his most inspired comedic martial arts to date in this production and I daresay it's worth the price of the DVD just to see him. Many fans were beginning to wonder if he still had "it." Personally, I loved "Tuxedo" and "Medallion" but apparently there were doubts. Not anymore. Jackie Chan demonstrated, as only he could, that he still has what it takes to make his fans happy.

Now, as I indicated earlier, this was not the blow-by-blow retelling of Verne's vision. But that did not take away one ounce of enjoyment. It was entertaining and deftly captured the spirit of Verne's work. True, the original work was not a comedy, but if you've read Jules Verne, you'll understand that he did have a wonderful sense of humor. He included characters in his works which were present for no other purpose than comic relief. Jackie Chan's Passepartout fits that mold perfectly.

This production possesses every aspect held dear in the novel. There is adventure, comedy, beautiful vistas from great locations all around the world, and inventions. It presented a beautiful culminating blend of many of the themes from Verne's works. There are many gentle reminders of Verne's vision and his novels scattered all through this attempt. As someone who loves Jules Verne's novels, I felt proud for him to have been shown the respect and admiration he deserved.

This is a fun, entertaining, and heart-warming retelling of a classic story.

Check out Frank Coraci's nod to his "Wedding Singer" and "Waterboy" days (and the Adam Sandler crowd) with a very short speaking part from Rob Schneider.

It rates an 8.2/10 from...

the Fiend :.
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One Big Mess
christian12326 November 2004
Around the World in 80 Days stars Steve Coogan as Phineas Fogg, a 19th century English gentlemen who has made a wager that he can traverse the globe in less than three months along with an adventurer named Passpepartout, played by Jackie Chan. Using the various means of transportation during that era, they encounter many famous and wacky characters including the Wright brothers.

Whereas the book was engaging and inventive, the film is dull and flat. The film captured very little of the book's magic and it didn't really seem to follow the same formula. The producers made it into a kid's film which is okay but that doesn't mean the movie has to be so lame. Seriously, it's like the producers just kept the title and changed everything into a corny family movie. They didn't even do a good job at that either. There is very little here to keep the kids interested and it's too silly for most adults. There is just no heart and soul with this movie. It just felt like a cash in to a popular book with very little thought actually put into the project.

The acting is very embarrassing and no one gives a good performance. Jackie Chan tries his best and his efforts are wasted. He usually is pretty enjoyable to watch on screen though he is given very little to work with. Steve Coogan tries way too hard to be funny and he ends up being very annoying. Also, he is not a very good leading man because he lacks charisma. Cécile De France is the last main addition to the cast and she gives a bland performance, nothing special about her. There are a bunch of cameos and most of them aren't very good. They are very unnecessary and they add nothing to the film nor do they really take anything away.

It's pretty surprising that the director of the Wedding Singer couldn't make this film work. He had Jackie Chan to work with and the source material very good. However, he just dropped the ball on the project. There were a bunch of cheesy scenes that took place in different parts in the world and none of them were really that good. There were some funny moments and some interesting scenes, nothing really outstanding though. The film is also pretty harmless so that was also nice. Other than that, there is very little here to actually recommend. In the end, this corny family film is better left on the shelf. Rating 4/10
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FINALLY! A movie to take the kids two that adults will love too!
valeyard4016 June 2004

We just saw the film today and I laughed out loud! Not only did the seven year old laugh, but the fourteen year old laughed too! My husband and I laughed as well.

Chan was very funny, so was Coogan. There were also a host of cameos to keep you laughing. Where on EARTH did Schwarzenegger find that wig!

The fighting scenes were very good. Chan, as usual, delivers his usual cavalcade of exciting martial arts.

All in all, a movie that will keep you entertained AND you can take the kids to see! A miracle in 2004! Well worth the price of a ticket!
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