This was the official website for the 2004 comedy, Around the World in 80 Days, starring Jackie Chan.
Content is from the site's 2004 archived pages as well as from other outside sources.
Around the World in 80 Days is a 2004 American action-adventure comedy family film based on Jules Verne's novel of the same name. It stars Jackie Chan, Steve Coogan and Cécile de France. The film is set in 19th-century Britain and centers on Phileas Fogg (Steve Coogan), here reimagined as an eccentric inventor, and his efforts to circumnavigate the globe in 80 days. During the trip, he is accompanied by his Chinese valet, Passepartout (Jackie Chan). For comedic reasons, the film intentionally deviated wildly from the novel and included a number of anachronistic elements. With production costs of about $110 million and estimated marketing costs of $30 million, it earned $24 million at the U.S. box office and $72 million worldwide, making it a box office flop.This was Arnold Schwarzenegger's last film before he took a hiatus from acting to become Governor of California until 2010's The Expendables.
In the late 19th century, a Chinese man, Lau Xing, robs the Bank of England. To evade the police, Xing becomes the valet for Phileas Fogg, an inventor, taking the pseudonym Passepartout. Phileas, just before Xing arrived, had been trying to break the 50-mph speed barrier, and after succeeding with the help of Passepartout, they head to the Royal Academy of Science. There, Fogg is insulted by the other "brilliant minds", in particular Lord Kelvin, who believes that everything worth discovering has already been discovered. After a debate between the scientists about the bank thief, Phileas is pressured into a bet to see whether he can travel around the world in 80 days. If he wins, he will become Minister of Science in Lord Kelvin's place, if not, he will destroy his lab and never invent anything again. Phileas and Xing start their journey around the world, taking a carriage and leaving London after a confrontation with Inspector Fix, a corrupt officer hired by Lord Kelvin to stop them.
Xing and Phileas journey to Paris. Pretending to take Phileas to a convention with Thomas Edison, Xing leads him to an art school where Phileas meets Monique La Roche, a would-be impressionist. There, Xing is attacked by disguised warriors, the Black Scorpions, sent by General Fang, a female Chinese warlord who is after the Jade Buddha that he stole. Fang had previously given it to Kelvin in exchange for military assistance in China. When Monique learns of Phileas's ambition, she convinces them to take her with them. They depart in a hot-air balloon, chased by Fang's warriors.
Whilst on the Orient Express, Monique learns that Xing is trying to return the Jade Buddha back to his village, and is travelling with Phileas to get there quickly. Monique keeps his secret in exchange for him convincing Phileas to let her travel with him. They travel to Turkey, where the train stops. Guards climb onboard and inform the trio that they are greeted by Prince Hapi. During the Prince's banquet, he orders Monique to stay as his seventh wife while the men are ordered to leave. The men blackmail Prince Hapi into releasing Monique using a prized but apparently flimsy "The Thinker" statue of the Prince. The statue is destroyed, much to Hapi's anger, but the trio escape from the guards. Lord Kelvin, learning that Phileas has been abetting a thief's escape, orders the British colonial authorities in India to arrest both. Xing notices this and warns his companions, disguising themselves as Indian women to evade capture and successfully flee to China.
Xing leads his friends to his village, Lanzhou, where they are happily greeted. His real identity is revealed and they are held captive by the Black Scorpions. Xing challenges the leader of the group to a fight, during which he is joined by the martial arts masters of the "Ten Tigers of Canton", of which Xing is a member. The Tigers drive the Black Scorpions from the village and free the Westerners. The Buddha is returned to the village temple. Phileas, feeling used by Xing and Monique, leaves for San Francisco alone, only to be proven wrong when the latter decide to help him win his bet. In New York City, Fang's disguised minions trick the trio to an ambush site. Fang reveals the nature of their arrangements with Lord Kelvin to take Lanzhou and tap the jade reserves underneath it. A battle against Fang and her minions commences in the workshop where the Statue of Liberty is being constructed, resulting in Phileas missing a boat to help Xing, Fang being knocked out by Monique with a punch (revealing Monique to be the fabled 11th Tiger) and Fang's minions being either killed or knocked out. Phileas feels he has lost, but the other two say they may still make it if they catch the next ship.
They board an old ship and Phileas convinces the captain to let him build a plane out of the ship's old wood in exchange for a new ship. Using an altered version of the Wright brothers' plans, Phileas builds the plane while the ship's crew builds a catapult to launch it into the sky. They reach London, where the machine falls apart and they crash in front of the Royal Academy. Lord Kelvin sends police to arrest them for robbing the bank, in order to stop them from making it to the top step of the Academy, and proclaims himself the victor when Big Ben strikes noon, seemingly ending the wager. Monique, Fix and other ministers attest to Kelvin's unfair methods and his bullying nature, but Kelvin scoffs at them. In the process he insults Queen Victoria, who arrives on the scene. She learned that he had sold her arsenal to Fang in exchange for jade mines in China thanks to one of his aides. Kelvin is arrested and sent to prison, and Phileas realizes he is one day early thanks to crossing the international date line. He victoriously ascends the stairs of the Academy and kisses Monique.
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. ***
[My predicted rating 2.5] I would never have chosen to watch this film and yet it did have a fair bit of entertainment value. There were some good effects throughout the film and of course some good Martial Arts choreography from Jackie Chan, in fact even the usually irritating Steve Coogan did a good job - a good adventure!
IMDb User Reviews
New adaptation classic Jules Verne with a marvellous duo :Chan and Coogan
3 July 2006 | by ma-cortes – See all my reviews
The film deals about a Victorian English gentleman (Steve Coogan),an inventor of fantastic inventions called Phileas Fogg and a Chinese thief (Jackie Chan)named Passapart. He takes a wager that he can circle the globe around the world in 80 days. They are accompanied by an enticing, likable artist(Cecil De France).Just before the time they leave a valuable jade Buddha is robbed and the authorities and president(Jim Broadbent) of Bank of England believe that Fogg is the guilty and they set out after him. Using various means of transport like balloons, trains, steamer, flying machine and following a way goes to Paris, Turkey, India ,China, USA, they are trying back to London .In the traveling they know to historical personages like Wright brothers (Owen, Luke Wilson),Colonel Kitchener(Ian McNiece), Lord Salisbury, Lord Rhodes and even the Queen Victoria(Kathy Bates). This funny picture is plenty of adventures, humor, action packed, rip-roaring and spectacular outdoors. From the start to the final the entertainment and amusement is continued. Jackie Chan, as always ,utilizes his astonishing martial arts(without computer generator) abilities along with Sammo Hung (Martial Law) to defend the friends against the enemies and from the many risks, odds during the dangerous trip .Appear a variety of cameos by known actors as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mark Addy(steamer captain),John Cleese(a police)Luke Owen Wilson.. .The colorfully cinematography is well reflected on sensational landscapes by cameraman Phil Meheux. Lively music by Trevor Ravin. The film is correctly directed by Frank Coraci. The motion picture will like to Jackie Chan fans and adventures cinema enthusiastic. Another version about the Jules Verne novel are :the classic by Michael Anderson with David Niven and Cantinflas, and the TV adaptation by Buzz Kulik with Pierce Brosnan and Eric Idle.
ROTTAN TOMATOES REVIEWS
TOMATOEMETER CRITCS: 32% | AUDIENCE: 34%
Jan 15, 2005 | Rating: 2/4
David Nusair | Reel Film Reviews
Fogg essentially winds up playing second-banana to Passepartout - a disastrous choice that simply does not work.
Though I've not read Jules Verne's famed book of the same name, one would imagine that his version of Around the World in 80 Days didn't feature quite so many martial arts fight sequences. The film feels less like an adaptation of an 19th century novel and more like the third installment in Jackie Chan's Shanghai Noon series - except with Steve Coogan in the Owen Wilson role.
Coogan stars as Phileas Fogg, an absent-minded inventor who agrees to travel around the world within 80 days as part of a high-stakes wager. He teams up with a man calling himself Passepartout (Chan), though unbeknownst to him, Passepartout is actually a Chinese thief named Lau Xing. The two set off on the epic journey that will literally take them all over the world, with Passepartout getting into a fight virtually at every stop.
Around the World in 80 Days has been directed by Frank Coraci, who does an effective job of imbuing the film with a distinctive old-school sort of vibe. The movie feels like one of those comical epics of yesteryear (ie It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World), complete with superfluous cameos. In terms of quality, though, there's no denying that the film comes up short. This is primarily due to a needless emphasis on fight sequences, presumably due to the inclusion of Jackie Chan into the film's cast. As a result, Fogg essentially winds up playing second-banana to Passepartout - a disastrous choice that simply does not work. Because the movie's called Around the World in 80 Days, it seems reasonable to expect more stuff involving Fogg's almost insurmountable quest rather than an acrobatic battle every ten minutes.
It's a shame, since Coogan is actually quite effective in the central role. He imbues Fogg with an expected streak of sarcasm while ensuring that the character remains likable, something that one might not have expected from the actor (his turn as an exceedingly obnoxious performer in Coffee and Cigarettes cannot easily be forgotten). And while he and Chan undoubtedly make a good team, it's impossible to overlook the similarities to Chan and Owen Wilson's rapport in Shanghai Noon and Shanghai Knights (or to any of Chan's American buddy films, really).
Around the World in 80 Days might be worth a look for die-hard Chan fans, particularly since there's not much else here worth embracing.
**out of *****
Feb 9, 2005 | Rating: D-
Stephen Hunter | Washington Post Top Critic
The heart and soul of it, the story and the casting, are a complete mess.
The new Disney film "Around the World in 80 Days" might generally be described as "Around Epcot Center in 120 Minutes." It has that cheesy, chintzy mid-Florida feel that we all know and love, despite its $110 million budget. How could they spend so much money and end up with something that looks so Orlando?
It's sort of, for a little while in the middle, a Jackie Chan film, and that's when it's at its best. But it's more often a Steve Coogan film. And who is Steve Coogan? Well, he looks like the great Scots race car driver Jackie Stewart and he sounds like the great British actor Alan Rickman and that's all I know. How'd he get a major Disney film crafted around his small package of gifts? Hmmm. Beats the heck out of me. Possibly it has to do with the rumor that the movie was set up for Hugh Grant and Hugh couldn't make it, so the production company had to scramble for a body. Wasn't Ben Affleck available?
Any resemblance to the original "Around the World," a huge 1956 icon that arrived in the miracle of Todd-AO with David Niven in command, is utterly coincidental. That movie, if memory serves, ventured into the real world. For the most part, this one doesn't, and the transparent phoniness of the sets -- it was shot mostly in a German studio -- is a continual annoyance. In fact, I think that San Francisco, London, Paris, Ankara and Delhi are on the same block of Berlin back lot, with the signs and the crowds changed. Only when the film ventures to China (Thailand stars as China) does it pick up.
The director, Frank Coraci, a former Adam Sandler intimate ("The Wedding Singer"), and writer David N. Titcher see Phileas Fogg -- the obscure Coogan -- not as a suave adventurer à la Niven but as a somewhat more hackneyed character, the wacky inventor. Thus much of the movie, set in 1872, is taken up with fantastic inventions of the "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" sort, which routinely chew, spindle and mutilate their users for comic effect. In the first few minutes Chan is induced to ride what appears to be a steam-powered Tilt-a-Whirl in an attempt to break the 60-mile-per-hour barrier. In the last few minutes he's obliged to pedal a birdlike flying machine into downtown London to beat the deadline. You know what? Gizmos are overrated as movie amusements. Is there a soul on Earth over the age of 3 who still finds them funny?
As the screenplay has it, Fogg, generally denounced as a fool by the posh bigwigs of the Royal Academy of Science, makes a hasty bet with that outfit's bigwig, Lord Kelvin (Jim Broadbent in a performance broadly bent), that he can, yes, make it around the world in the titular time frame. It never occurs to the filmmakers that there's not really any connection between inventing and traveling, so the whole premise feels like a non sequitur.
Fogg has just hired a new valet, Passepartout (as Jules Verne named him in the original novel), who is basically the facilitator of the trip. This is, of course, the great Chan, one of the world's most amusing movie clowns and jocks. The wrinkle is that he's a martial arts ace sent by his village to steal a stolen jade Buddha from the Bank of England, where it has been deposited by a nefarious warlord. Having accomplished that, Chan signs up with Fogg as the best way of getting back to China, but doesn't tell the English fool about the detectives and warlord kung-fu experts on his trail.
As did Mike Todd, Coraci uses cameos to liven up the proceedings, but to less positive effect: The proceedings are deadened down significantly by unremarkable appearances by unremarkable people such as Kathy Bates, Richard Branson (oh, there's a howler) and Owen and Luke Wilson. But the worst of these deserves its own paragraph.
Did Arnold Schwarzenegger actually become an actor? I thought so. But in this, what is certainly his last appearance, he is absolutely horrendous. It's not even a performance. He is so unhinged by the responsibility of playing a lecherous Ottoman despot in what looks to be a wig that Cher wore in the '70s and a gown designed by Givenchy in the '50s that he overacts with the hammy zeal of a pig's knuckle trying to disguise itself as a sauerbraten. Gott im himmel, he ist awful! It should not be permitted. Ja, this is how it begins!
Perhaps he's having difficulty finding motivation. One cannot blame him. The script makes him delirious over the presence of person No. 3 on the trek, and this is either Cecile De France as Monique La Roche or quite possibly Monique La Roche as Cecile De France, I am not sure which. She is a tall, more or less attractive (do you like that gaptoothed thing?) young woman of almost no apparent talent. She pretty much just stands there and squeaks.
The film spurts briefly to life when it leaves back lot Berlin. A long sequence completes the story arc of the return of the jade Buddha, and for just a few minutes the movie takes on the long-ago fairy-tale feel of classic '70s chopsocky. For once the annoying Europeans are shunted aside and Jackie Chan alone must defend his village against the warlord's ninjas. He still knows how to choreograph a fight sequence, and working, one presumes, with his core of tested stunt and martial arts professionals, he throws together a nifty sequence of comic-toned, hand-fist-foot-speed work. It's done lightly in an exaggerated diction, bloodless, comic, acrobatic, and ultimately it brings him nine masked allies, including his old friend, the great Sammo Hung Kam-Bo. It's a lovely few minutes of movie -- you can feel Chan pepping up, growing in stature and engagement, pulling the movie, however briefly, to a new level -- and it made me ache to see the dragon-fist school take on the swan's-beak school for 70 delirious minutes in a Times Square grindhouse, surrounded by sleeping bums. Man, those were the days.
Man, these are not the days. That plot is forgotten and the movie falls from grace to clunkiness and continues its herky-jerky, way-unfunny trek around the amusement park. Who needs it?
Around the World in 80 Days (125 minutes, at area theaters) is rated PG for action violence and some crude humor.
Dec 22, 2010 | Rating: 3/5 |
Nell Minow Common Sense Media
Mildly amusing Jackie Chan adventure.
Parents need to know that Around the World in 80 Days is a 2004 adaptation of the Jules Verne novel. There is a lot of slapstick-, cartoon-, and action-style violence, including many crotch injuries, but no one is seriously hurt. Characters use mild bad language ("bloody hell"). There is some crude and vulgar humor, including bathroom jokes, drunkenness played for comedy, a weird cross-dressing joke, and a comic situation involving a man with many wives. One man who is imprisoned in a box for urinating in public is later shown, after being freed, on the verge of pulling his pants down and urinating in public once again. Rather than being a sidekick or a bad Asian stereotype, Jackie Chan portrays his character as someone just as vivid and intelligent as Phileas Fogg, and unlike so many martial arts movies, women are shown to be just as brave, strong, and skilled as men in the fight scenes.
Jun 30, 2004 | Rating: B-
Lisa Schwarzbaum Entertainment Weekly Top Critic
Amiably dorky redo.
Because Around the World in 80 Days has been remade from the raw stuff of Jules Verne?s 1873 novel, certain basic architecture is familiar: Cockeyed inventor Phileas Fogg (swell British comic Steve Coogan) must still circle the globe in record-breaking time, or else lose a steep wager. And because the 1956 production still sets the bar for number of cameo appearances jammed into a supersized romp, this amiably dorky redo directed by ”The Waterboy”’s Frank Coraci doesn’t try to match guest-star abundance, but includes a drive-by hello from, among others, that shrewd high flyer Arnold Schwarzenegger in his last pre-gubernatorial acting gig.
What’s new and nutty, though, is the physical comedy of Jackie Chan as Fogg’s manservant, Passepartout, a tailor-made tweak that results in a martial-arts subplot nestled with surprising charm in Verne’s fantasy of futurism and eccentricity.