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Awesome: 5.48%
Worth A Look27.4%
Average: 20.55%
Pretty Bad: 21.92%
Total Crap: 24.66%

6 reviews, 37 user ratings

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Around the World in 80 Days (2004)
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by Erik Childress

"Take The Kids. Enjoy The Chan & The Coogan"
4 stars

Around the World in 80 Days has to do quite a bit and yet not very much in order to succeed. And this new remake does each quite successfully. Itís meant to be a kids film after all. Not just a kids film, but a kids adventure story. It doesnít have adults on the brain, yet adults will be able to enjoy it. The original 1956 film won Best Picture and the 2004 version will not be given a second glance, except by children who donít care about Oscars but are probably just as aware that they get things wrong all the time too.

In London 1872, Phileas Fogg (Steve Coogan) is the greatest of dreamers in a society of stuck-up conformists. The Royal Academy of Science continues to dismiss his wild theories thanks to Lord Kelvin (Jim Broadbent) who has no interest in disrupting society with progress. On the lam from robbing the Bank of England of an artifact that once belonged to his village, Lin Xing (Jackie Chan) adopts the alias of Passepartout (Pass-Pot-Too) and hides out as Phileas new valet; or the guinea pig for his untested inventions.

In presenting an explanation for how the thief may have escaped the country, Phileas enters into a bet with Kelvin to prove that the world CAN be circumnavigated in the allotted 80 days. With Passepartout in tow, the uptight Fogg proceeds on the adventure through exotic lands, gets into episodic scrapes and meets an aspiring artist, Monique (Cecile de France) who has always wanted to see the whole world.

In many respects, Jules Verneís novel has been turned into a vehicle for Jackie Chanís kungfu acrobatics. And to that I say Ė fine by me. The action sequences in the film will all involve Chan and many of them are quite fun. His chasing down the eternal hot-air balloon and being dragged through town is a highlight (plus where outside of a Police Academy movie will you see a decent balloon chase) as is his battle at an art museum and the unfinished Statue of Liberty. Letís face it Ė the guy is an international treasure and his action (even if a bit slowed in his age) brings a childhood grace to any film and a crooked smile to even the most bored. Around the World in 80 Days exists in the modern era of Chan projects (The Tuxedo, The Medallion, Rush Hour 2) and save for the Shanghai films with Owen Wilson, has the surrounding material that makes it worthwhile.

Much of that is contributed to a screenplay that doesnít condescend to its core audience and the great Steve Coogan who contributes a nice depth to Fogg where most actors would have gone too over-the-top attempting for easy yuks. Itís hardly huge in the laugh department, although kids will be chuckling at the innocent silliness and adults can pick out a couple Coogan deliveries to smile at. Like its Oscar-tagged predecessor it has a wealth of cameo appearances, some extended, others just walk-ons. Without spoiling them, the best laughs come from a newfound politician and real-life brothers as, who else, the Wright Bros. Rob Schneider shows up as an advice-giving hobo and not surprisingly canít deliver a single chuckle, but an old friend of Jackieís is a nice nostalgic counterpoint.

At over two hours (still an hour shorter than í56) Around The World does lag here and there, but it looks great and has a colorful production design to prove that some effort was put forth. Itís hardly an exact science or history lesson for that matter for the youngsters, but the mere chance that its message or locales inspire them just a little is worth the admission alone. As for the adults, Jackie Chan kicks enough people to keep you awake.

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originally posted: 06/16/04 15:13:37
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User Comments

2/17/18 Dr.Lao It wasn't terrible 3 stars
11/05/15 David Hollingsworth ridiculous and worthless. 1 stars
4/06/15 Imaad Unwatchable. Does full injustice to Jules Verne's book. 1 stars
2/23/08 Pamela White unbelieveably stupid 2 stars
1/02/07 Anthony Feor discusting 1 stars
11/30/06 Stanley Thai An enjoyable remake. Fun for the family. 4 stars
3/09/06 Dk A good idea goes out the window 2 stars
1/16/06 Ariadne Christina Renee Gladstone Who'da thunk it? I actually enjoyed a movie with Kathy Bates playing royalty! 4 stars
4/23/05 Quigley poor Shwarzenegger! what mindless bullcrap dribvel for Disney! nothing's new, i guess 1 stars
3/21/05 reptilesni I laughed like a fool through this whole thing! 5 stars
2/21/05 Captain Craig If you look at it as a movie made for familys and kids its fine. Jackie is always good. 4 stars
2/11/05 Jeff Anderson TERRIBLE REMAKE! I'd rather sit through endless viewings of CUTTHROAT ISLAND than this crap 1 stars
11/27/04 Destiny Pifer Pretty funny movie! 4 stars
9/07/04 Gregor I thought this movie was funny, and had a nice touch. Who cares if it is a remake. 4 stars
8/28/04 john bale Another dud remake, why bother, Coogans no David Niven, and Mike Todds not in sight. 2 stars
8/26/04 conor great awful 1 stars
8/19/04 Cape Canaveral Lavigne Though a likeable actor, J Chan's martial arts antics always get in way of a coherent plot. 4 stars
8/19/04 Ariadne Christina Renee Gladstone Who'da thunk it? I actually enjoyed a movie with Kathy Bates playing royalty! 4 stars
8/16/04 reptilesni What a wonderful film! Who really is a "hardcore" fan of this book anyway? 5 stars
7/30/04 Eloise wholesome family fun 4 stars
7/18/04 sally i loved this film. Enough action for my husband and son and enough story for me. Good fun. 5 stars
7/13/04 Clairemont Not that bad. Steve Coogan was the highlight. But check out some of his other work 3 stars
7/11/04 Chanie Jack Not as bad as the reviewer made out - enjoyable (if rather low-brow) entertainment. 4 stars
7/08/04 jenny oh man this was the worst movie i have ever seen in my whole life 1 stars
7/06/04 mazie i thought it was absalute pants 1 stars
6/30/04 Roxie It was pretty cute. Not fantastic, but still enjoyable. 4 stars
6/29/04 Sephylon Greenleaf Surprisingly not sucktastic. A warmhearted, amusing adventure for seekers of grand escapism 4 stars
6/22/04 Drummie It tickled my laughing bones.. 4 stars
6/22/04 jam good-humored 4 stars
6/21/04 jc hm 5 stars
6/20/04 SIr Spam-a-lot Pierce Brosnan and Eric Idle in the TV VERSION were MUCH better.... 2 stars
6/19/04 Emily i liked the fighting scene 3 stars
6/18/04 Bob F. Sandler's friendship can't bail Coraci out of this one. 1 stars
6/18/04 Alex A fun summer action comedy. The cameos are great. 4 stars
6/18/04 Karl Even the cameos can't save this one. Stay away at all costs. 1 stars
6/18/04 dave blah, jackie chan should retire 1 stars
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  16-Jun-2004 (PG)
  DVD: 02-Nov-2004



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