Around the World in 80 Days

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You know the old story about the famed 19th century inventor, Phineas Fogg, and his race around the world, right?  Well, don’t despair.  Neither did the writers of this movie.  Still, despite the fact that this remake of a remake of a book doesn’t stick to its literary inspiration very often, I can most definitely say that this movie does not suck and, considering what a clumsy movie it is… that’s actually high praise.

Around the World in 80 Days is about a Chinese villager named Passepartout who steals a sacred Buddha from a London museum to take back to his people.

I know… I know…

While attempting to escape from Scotland Yard’s finest, he happens across crazy inventor Phineas Fogg and assumes the position of his new French assistant.

0I know… I know…

To make a long story short, Fogg makes a bet that he can go around the world in eighty days and Passepartout, eager to get back to China as quickly as possible, goes with him.

This movie is just plain clumsey.  It continues to fumble the comedy ball over and over and over again.  Granted, it does pick it up and run with it a fair amount of the time as well and, yes, the film does get funny.

If anything, this carefree plodding monster with brief respites of comedy and whimsy  can best be described as diverting, not particularly intelligent, but mostly just a big foolish lump of fun.

The result is a goofy if somewhat imbalanced family film that is probably Jackie Chan’s best Americanized movie.  Of course, if you’ve been to this site a while you’ll know that I haven’t thought very highly of any of Chan’s Americanized films… so take that as a double-edged compliment.

This is going to be another one of those guilty pleasure things, kids.

Keep your eye out for some very fun cameos including the current Governor of California who was either making fun of his image during the elections, or who filmed a very eerie prediction of his political scandals.

Around the World in 80 Days isn’t great and will probably be gathering dust in a Blockbuster bargain bin before we know it, but it’s doesn’t suck… no, it doesn’t suck at all.

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About the author

Jason Donner

Jason Donner devoured the universe and you are all living inside him.