AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS (2004-AMERICA)
review by Neo


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100 million US dollars, actually no, 110 million US dollars and they produce this crap, no absolutely just bull shit crap! I so reckon that they better off using that 110 million US to assist the poor then churning crap like the latest boxoffice flop – Jackie Chan’s Around the 80 Days. Does the movie deserve to flop? Yes, and I am very direct hear, because, firstly I am a devoted fan to the original Verne’s novel and secondly I am a long time Jackie Chan fan. So why am I pissed off? I guess you know why, no, it is not because they didn’t stay true to the novel, but the fact that they make a mockery of Verne classic with this cutting and fast forwarding movie that moves the journey along not by day by day but by 20 days! What a waste of money and a waste of time. Okay, I agree Jackie Chan is getting older and wants to do more drama, but if he want to do drama, at least do a movie that have more substance! Okay, people are going to argue that this is strictly for kids, yea right, I am Chan has a huge kids fan base, but it is far to violence for kids and far too cheesy and illogical and boring for adults. So what happen to Chan main target audience, I think they are lost in the middle. Okay, the action is probably the best of Chan’s US movies, the plot suffers so much that even the action can not safe the movie. Okay anther problem, is this even a Chan’s movie, I think not, what happen to the usual out takes??? That’s just ridiculous. Okay, some may argue that it is mindless fun, yes and I think it does have funny moments, like Sammo Hung as Wong Fei Hung, Daniel Wu overacting – unintentionally funny and Terminator – Arnie is hilarious. You know a movie is going the wrong direction when the best part of the movie is its cameos performances. Okay, HK movies fans may argue that this is crap, but by HK standard it is okok type of movie, but I tell you one thing, 110 million US for this crap, then something is wrong! If it is like 30 million budget then this movie is not so crap after all, but produced for this amount, it is a waste of money and more importantly time.

Alright, maybe the movie is not as bad as I am dissing it, but the fact remains that even if a movie is brilliant in its action, which this movie is actually quite well shot despite the short fight scenes, no matter how good action is, if the plot, okay not the plot but if the movie is jumping around at lightspeed by travelling by 10 days at a time, then that’s just lazy filmmaking. Don’t get me wrong, director Frank is a good director as seen from his past film and I must comment on one thing, is that the movie is beautifully shot, but the problem lies in the script. Whoever wrote the script has not only taken all the cliché out of the Hollywood convention, but a plot that seems to be from a 7 years old mind.

The story goes like this, This version of the classic novel set in 1872 focuses on Passepartout (Chan), a Chinese thief who steals a valuable jade Buddha and then seeks refuge in the traveling companionship of an eccentric London inventor and adventurer, Phileas Fogg (Coogan), who has taken on a bet with members of his gentlemens' club that he can make it around the world in a mere 80 days, using a variety of means of transportation, like boats, trains, balloons, elephants, etc. Along the way, Passepartout uses his amazing martial arts abilities to defend Fogg from the many dangers they face.. One major threat to their adventure is a detective that's following them. Why? Just as Fogg and Passeportout left London, a major bank was robbed, with Fogg suspected of using the "around the world" trip as an excuse to escape.. Their path from London and back includes stops in Paris, Turkey, India, China and USA... (IMDB)

Alright, let’s talk about the performance of the cast. As I have always say the best comedian does not have to talk a lot and Steve Coogan is one of the best subtle comedian around the globe of Hollywood. Subtle comedian is the art of comedy to the highest point and Steve certainty is up to that. Although a talented comedian, their connection is by no means better than Wilson and Chan combination. While Jackie Chan is again his likable self and his acting is getting better by each piece as he is becoming more and more comfortable with English. Cecile De France performance sweetly and adequately in her role as romantic interest and is a cute though not pretty eye candy. HK star Karen Mok does well in her first Hollywood role and handles it with great control and with some frightening presence that will haunt 5 years old children dreams. Sammo Hung does well as Wong Fei Hung, though he doesn’t do much, if Jet Li did the cameo I am sure it will be even more exciting especially to Western audience. Daniel Wu although he overacts, here he does it whether intentionally or unintentionally the overacting is one of the highlight and funny moments. Wu who is trained with wushu does fight well with Chan, let’s hope Wu do some more action movies in HK. Arnie as Prince is funny but very unnecessary cameo, but it is funny to watch Chan and Arnie in a bath together. Yeah you heard me right, in a bath together, but no they are not gay. Other fun cameos include, Wilson brothers, Maggie Q and I must repeat it again, the cameos are the best thing in the movie.

Overall, Around the World in 80 Days, should have been called, around the world in 10 days, when infact the movie only showed, at most 10 days. How cheesy is that? Well in my personal opinion it is very cheesy. What more? It doesn’t even make sense and Steve walking along the Great Wall, I think it takes longer than 1 day. Apart from the cameos, this Jackie Chan movie is boring and pointless and does not even qualify as a mindless entertainment, because it doesn’t even have Chan’s trademark – Outtakes. As for Disney wasting money on this crap, I have nothing more to say rather than say ‘boo’ to them for wasting Chan’s talent again and again. Ok, to my honest opinion, Around the World in 80 Days has Chan’s best fight scenes and even better than Medallion. When a movie is flopping like this at the Boxoffice, I guess now realise that the movie was not even targeted at Disney kids fans, but a group of lost audience in the middle. Well, maybe I am being too critical, but if you watch it, I am sure you will agree that it is better off giving me the 110 millon US dollar than wasting it on this crap! Oh yeah by the way, sorry for my language!

I rate it 5.5/10

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Product Title : Around the World in 80 Days
Artist Name(s) : Jackie Chan| Steve Coogan| Karen Mok| Sammo Hung|
Language : English||
Duration : 120 minutes
Reviewed by Neo (Andrew) - June 2004