Around the World in 80 Days


Action / Adventure / Comedy


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May 30, 2012 at 03:03 PM



Arnold Schwarzenegger as Prince Hapi
Daniel Wu as Bak Mei
Owen Wilson as Wilbur Wright
Jackie Chan as Passepartout / Lau Xing
751.17 MB
23.976 fps
2hr 0 min
P/S 13 / 39

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Thomas Jolliffe (supertom-3) 6 / 10

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. ***

Reviewed by Ralph Michael Stein ([email protected]) 8 / 10

It's a Fun Film Folks, Not a Serious Re-make of a Classic

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.


Reviewed by Quicksand 6 / 10

Three Screenwriters Named Dave

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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