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Around the World in 80 Days

This comic adventure film follows two men as they race around the world on a balloon to win a bet, pursued by a London police detective.

Genre - Action

Director(s) - Frank Coraci

Writer(s) - David Titcher, David Benullo and David Goldstein

Cast - Jackie Chan, Steve Coogan, Jim Broadbent, Rob Schneider, Arnold Schwarzenegger, John Cleese, Luke and Owen Wilson, Kathy Bates, Ewen Bremner, Mark Addy, Macy Gray, Ian McNeice, Robert Fyfe, Karen Mok, Richard Branson

Blue Rider's Role - co-executive producers and bridge lender

Distributor(s) - Buena Vista Pictures, Buena Vista Home Video, Walden Media and 16 territorial distributors

Release Date - 2004

Synopsis - Eccentric London inventor Phineas Fogg (Steve Coogan) bets members of his gentlemen's club that he can circle the earth by hot-air balloon in 80 days. He and his companion Passepartout (Jackie Chan) do so, having many dramatic and amusing adventures along the way, in Paris, Turkey, India, China and the United States.
Along their journey they are purusued by a Police detective who suspects them of a bank robbery that happened on the day of their departure.

Boxoffice and DVD Business:
The film's worldwide box office gross was $72.2 million ($24 million domestic; $48.2 million overseas in more than 50 countries). Its widest U.S. release was 2,801 screens. It did $20 million in DVD/video revenue. Opening weekends: U.S. $7,576,132, U.K. £1,631,963, Italy €493,693 and Thailand THB 221,900.

The film grossed $9,478,069 in Germany, $7,719,618 in the U.K./Ireland/Malta market, $3,977,622 in France and former French North Africa, $3,354,144 in Spain, $2,642,213 in Russia, $1,890,359 lin Italy, $1,266,493 in Australia, $1,056,711 in Switzerland, $1,037,041 in Mexico, $1,032,816 in Japan and $922,891 in Austria.

Impact
It was the largest independently financed movie of all time—and the biggest film Blue Rider has ever helped develop.

Release Data:
The film also screened in Hong Kong, Singapore, Finland, Cyprus, Iceland, Bahrain, UAE, Philippines, Kuwait, South Korea, Belgium, the Netherlands, Australia, Croatia, Denmark, Egypt, Israel, Republic of Macedonia, Panama, Poland, Norway, Greece, Sweden, Hungary, Switzerland, Brazil, Czech Republic, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovakia and on Argentine video.

Viewers' Ratings:
As of Feb. 26, 2009, more than 61.1% of 16,545 Internet Movie Database users gave it positive ratings. All demographic groups liked it, with the most enthusiastic being females 17 and youngeer(who rated it 6.5 out of 10), followed by males 17 and younger (6.2) and females 18-29 (5.8).

Critics' Kudos:
Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: “Around the World in 80 Days" is a delightful surprise. What could have been a slapdash remake is a complete re-imagining of the story that uses the Jules Verne novel and the 1956 Academy Award-winning film of the same name as a jumping-off point for an energetic and enormously good-natured family movie. It sounds like 1940s advertising copy to say it, but this picture has a little of everything -- action, romance, adventure, comedy -- all held together by a warm spirit and a smart director's commitment to keep things moving.

“If dissected, the movie can be looked at as a mix of Verne and boilerplate Jackie Chan, but each element invigorates the other. British comedian Steve Coogan, who plays Fogg, is an equal partner with Chan in the film's success. When he meets Lau Xing, he hires him on the spot to test his latest device, a horseless carriage, presumably one of the world's first. He has the car on a track, but when he gets the speed past 50 mph, the car gets loose and flies through the London streets. In another film, particularly another Disney film, this mishap might have been an occasion for unfocused zaniness, a big commotion presented without invention. Not here. Here the bit is worked out meticulously and extensively (as in a Jackie Chan movie). It's funny. It delivers in a slapstick way, and it's the first clue that this picture will not be a phoned-in entertainment.

“One sequence is a little marvel. Fogg and a young woman are hovering some 30 or 40 feet above ground in a hot air balloon, while Lau Xing hangs from a rope, fighting off the warlord's men and struggling to climb back into the basket. The movie finds lively and enjoyable ways to keep the sequence going. At one point, Chan, hanging from the rope, looks into a woman's apartment and sees a fire starting. He jumps in through a window, puts out the fire, then goes out another window, leaping for and catching the rope, as the balloon glides by.

“Monique, an impetuous young artist who meets Fogg and insists that she be allowed to accompany him, is played by Cecile de France, a charming Belgian actress who made a strong impression as the lesbian roommate in the French hit L'Auberge Espagnole. She is an important part of the Around the World chemistry, providing a touch of romance and an unexpected dash of shrewd insolence.

“The movie doesn't need injections of energy, but it gets them anyway from surprise cameos, and they're welcome all the same. In one of the better ones, Gov. Schwarzenegger makes a very funny appearance as Prince Hapi, a lecherous, narcissistic Turkish sultan. Comedy has always been a strong suit for Schwarzenegger, but the sight of him here, in a long, curly black wig, is one for the books. He made the film before running for office.

“Before making this film, director Frank Coraci's best-known credits were for The Waterboy and The Wedding Singer, two of the better Adam Sandler vehicles. Still, it's one thing for a director to make passable movies with a dead weight, and quite another for him to be let loose to work with genuinely talented people. Coraci has given us a film that is not only amusing, but well-acted, and not only well-acted, but gorgeous. Micha Klein's animated transitions alone, which are used to signal each change in location, are wondrous and lovely to behold.”

Manohla Dargis, Los Angeles Times: "Around the World in 80 Days sails along on a slipstream of pleasant scenery, amusing incident and the boundless charms of its appealing leading men, Jackie Chan and Steve Coogan: It's an unexpectedly buoyant spectacular. Based on the Jules Verne novel, the basis of a 2-ton turkey from 1956 with David Niven, this light entertainment suggests that the class of movie known as "the family film" — think Fred MacMurray and a talking dog — has yet to be vanquished by product placements, vulgarity and unnecessary violence. It may never be hip to be square, but as this genial film attests sometimes it's sweet relief.

"In a nod to modern tastes and attention spans, director Frank Coraci and writers David Titcher, David Benullo and David Goldstein amp the action with a purloined jade statue and a Chinese warlord with extremely dangerous press-on nails (played by the delightful Hong Kong actress Karen Joy Morris). It's all terribly silly if eminently watchable, in part because it gives executive co-producer Chan something to do besides spread his mile-wide smile. In the case of a bit featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger — wearing a scary Roseanne Roseannadana fright wig and an even more alarming wolfish grin — it's also downright memorable.

"Serving as the film's stunt choreographer, Chan nonetheless executes a couple of nifty fight sequences, including one in which he uses a wooden bench to battle a blade-twirling opponent. Not since Fred Astaire has a screen performer put quotidian objects to such consistently glorious use. For most American viewers it's likely that the bigger eye-opener will be Coogan, an impudently gifted British comic performer best known here for the film "24 Hour Party People." With a mad stare and jumping eyebrows, Coogan plays Fogg as both an innocent and genius, as a man who after a lifetime of living inside his head is forced to confront the wonderful wide world in order to — of course, of course — discover his truest self.

"Crass commercialism alone explains the 1956 movie, a crashing bore and one of the worst films to win the Academy Award for best picture. This [new] Around the World in 80 Days proves that even in this day and age it remains possible to travel the world, meet interesting people and, well, not kill them."

Stephen Holden of the New York Times declared it "a satisfying slice of old-fashioned storybook entertainment."

The Chicago Sun-Times’s critic Roger Ebert noted that it contained "some genuinely funny moments, “ adding “None of this amounts to anything more than goofy fun, but that's what the ads promise, and the movie delivers. “

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly, "What's new and nutty 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."

Shirley Sealy, Film Journal International: "It's a clever idea, really, to shift the focus away from the character Phileas Fogg, the eccentric inventor who's a bit of a stiff (especially in the person of David Niven, in the original) to his valet, Passepartout, who's so good at getting himself and his boss into--and out of--some very close scrapes.

"At every stop there's a pause for a round of rapid-fire martial-arts punching and leap-kicking--all wonderfully choreographed by Chan. The piece de resistance takes place in Passepartout's village in China, pitting his band of Tigers against the Scorpions.

"Coogan plays Fogg just right, as a mad and madcap genius who's a bit of a klutz and also a bit of a romantic. Mme. de France is quite pretty and quite silly--but then, so is this entire movie.

"It is delightful to see Richard Branson, founder and CEO of all things Virgin, appearing as 'the balloon man,' which he is in real life. And what a hoot to have Luke Wilson and Owen Wilson play the squabbling Orville and Wilbur Wright."

Joe Baltake,Sacramento Bee: "Wonderfully escapist family entertainment."

Nick Rogers, The [Illinois] State Journal-Register: "Chan is the fighting focus of this big-budget update of Jules Verne’s classic story. And though the sacred artifact he’s trying to protect looks like a Chinese-restaurant trinket, watching him battle to preserve its security is awfully fun.

"A greater joy than playing Spot the Star lies in the fantastic fight scenes that Chan not only choreographed, but probably also just directed himself. Frank Coraci, director of two Adam Sandler comedies, filmed the rest, retaining a nice look of semi-cheesy 1960s colorfulness.

"Chan’s chops provide all the giddy energy it needs to thread the story through to the next confrontation. It’s fairly fast, zips some good zingers at the audience through Coogan, and is just the sort of instantly forgettable fun parents can have with their kids."

Rob Blackwelder, Splicedwire: "Verne might have a hard time recognizing his source material, but it's easy to forgive the many liberties taken in this funny, fleet-footed, summertime-matinee romp."

Brett Buckalew, FilmStew.com: "Around the World in 80 Days can also claim the title of the second-best, U.S.-made Jackie Chan movie yet, after last year’s underrated Shanghai Knights.

"Once Fogg and Passepartout take off on their globe-hopping trip, the movie eases into becoming an even more zesty, eye-pleasing jaunt than producer Richard Todd’s famous 1956 film adaptation of 80 Days, which is dated somewhat by its shoddy blue screen vistas. The newer Verne translation has a pleasing authenticity to its locations (production design courtesy of Perry Andelin Blake) and costumes (by Anna Sheppard), plus Coraci’s surprising adeptness at shooting some awesome Chan-style action sequences.

"Most importantly, both the director and his editor Tom Lewis clearly know the rule of thumb that eluded the makers of Rush Hour and other duds: when it comes to capturing Chan’s grace, don’t cut any more than is absolutely necessary.

"On par with Chan’s acrobatics is Coogan’s hilarious arrogant-loser routine. Having commanded the screen recently by playing deflated egomaniacs in 24 Hour Party People and the most pleasurable segment of Coffee and Cigarettes, Coogan is poised to become a major comedy star. With 80 Days, his dagger-sharp wit has found an ideal vessel to reach American mainstream audiences.

"Assisting the two leads are a number of stars who pop up for brief, scene-stealing cameos. Kathy Bates, Rob Schneider and Luke and Owen Wilson all acquit themselves well in their bit parts, but the funniest appearance is by current California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who does some of the most effortless comedic work of his career as a vain Turkish prince who claims Rodin sculpted 'The Thinker' with him as a model."

Nathan Rabin, The Onion (A.V. Club): “A winning formula: Chan provides the action, various exotic lands serve up props begging to be employed in Chan-style combat, Coogan brings the dry wit, a constellation of surprise guest stars provide razzle-dazzle, and a steady stream of chuckles helps the whole fandango fly by painlessly. “

Mike Sage, Peterborough This Week: "The gargantuanly funny performance of Jim Broadbent as a deliciously greedy, quill-whipping maniac is worth the admission ticket alone."

Jim Slotek, Jam! Movies: "The new version of Around The World In 80 Days passes the parental test in that it has wit, is cinemagraphically loaded with scenic eye candy and moves along at an energetic enough pace to keep seat-squirming to a minumum. It is also in every way a Jackie Chan movie, a plot framework on which to wrap a series of his trademark acrobatic fight scenes -- the best of which features Sammo Hung in a brawl between opposing ninja gangs in a Chinese village. Some of us can never get enough of Chan's Buster Keatonesque slapstick fighting flair. Steve Coogan plays his role with dry wit and sarcasm that gives the movie a little flavour and some life between the punchouts.

"Phineas Fogg is accompanied by his new valet, Passepartout (Chan), a Chinese man pretending to be a Frenchman (don't ask). Passepartout is wanted for robbing the Bank Of England of a sacred jade Buddha. In France, they're joined by an 'impressionist' artist (Cecile De France) who creates uncannily prescient paintings of dogs playing poker.

"The new Around The World In 80 Days is larded with celebrity cameos (although not quite as many as in the Oscar-winning 1956 version with David Niven). The single weirdest of these is Arnold Schwarzenegger as Turkish prince Hapi. Also watch for Luke and Owen Wilson as the Wright brothers, Kathy Bates as Queen Victoria, Rob Schneider as a San Francisco street bum and a quickie glimpse of Virgin mogul and celebrity balloonist Richard Branson as a balloon operator. Appropriate enough for this lighter-than-air circumnavigation of the globe."

Laura Clifford, Reeling Reviews: "[A] sweeping adventure tale just left of center -- a family entertainment with sprinklings of off-beat humor."

Todd McCarthy, Variety: "An unlikely property for a contemporary redo comes off in amiable fashion in Around the World in 80 Days. Refitted as a starring vehicle for action icon Jackie Chan, this second bigscreen version of Jules Verne's 1873 novel takes plenty of liberties with the material but provides an agreeable ride without overloading it with contemporary filmmaking mannerisms. Pic should do solid summer biz with Chan fans and general family audiences looking for old-fashioned entertainment.

"As the travelers make their way from Paris (seen off in a hot-air balloon by cameoing Richard Branson) to Munich and then to Istanbul, where they are hosted by a horny Prince Hapi, played enthusiastically in a frizzy black fright wig by none other than Governator Schwarzenegger, the film settles in as a good-natured lark -- engaging enough and more colorful than most.

"Chan does his patented comedic action thing with flair and good humor. There's perhaps less spectacular risk-taking than before, and the martial arts are of the more grounded variety, but the star has extra fun with the multiple levels of ethnic baggage his character is carting around the world. Coogan, long a TV favorite in the U.K. but known in the U.S. only to specialized auds for "24 Hour Party People," is a fine choice for Fogg: Tall and imposing-looking from a distance, thesp has qualities that invest the character with daft, impertinent and impulsive streaks, all of which give Fogg added edge and color.

Cecile De France, known to arthouse viewers for L'auberge Espagnole, comes off winningly, while Jim Broadbent and Ewen Bremner, the latter as a hapless inspector sent by Lord Kelvin to disrupt Fogg's trip, play to the rafters.

"Aside from Schwarzenegger's lively turn, which is highlighted by a group Jacuzzi scene and was filmed before his election as governor of California, other cameo of note comes from Kathy Bates as a conspicuously vivacious Queen Victoria.

"Despite its many settings, production was lensed principally in Berlin, with about a month in Thailand and second-unit work covering location identification shots elsewhere. Production values are handsome without being spectacular, and Trevor Jones' score keeps things moving without becoming bombastic."

Chuck Wilson, L.A. Weekly: "Despite the rush to get everyone from place to place, director Frank Coraci luxuriates in colorful visual detail and gives the locals their due."

Marjorie Baumgarten, Austin Chronicle: "Only a devotee of the original film or a hardcore sourpuss could find serious fault with this world romp."

Keith Simanton, Internet Movie Database: "Around the World in 80 Days is the best `70s movie Disney ever made in addition to being the best Jackie Chan movie since Rush Hour. The film builds a sense of camaraderie and creates an escalating sense of merriment.

"Coogan continues to be an interesting actor and well worth watching. He comes out of this without a scratch and somehow fits into that nether-world of leading man and leading mensch. He's comic without being particularly funny and portrays bravery without being particularly courageous. It's unexpected but Chan keeps his mugging to a minimum, and one has to give credit where credit is due to director Frank Coraci.

"Also a pleasant surprise is the film's family-friendly nature. There's no cussing, no innuendo, no true scary scenes. Around the World in 80 Days is one of the most pleasant surprises of the summer."

Ross Anthony, Hollywood Report Card: "Wholesome for the most part, this rich, robust family film (with the flair of yesteryear) clips along fast. It plants a smile on your face that lasts for the duration."

Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian (U.K.): "Co-producer Jackie Chan is his always-likeable self as Fogg's valet Passepartout, unveiling some wacky slapstick fight scenes. Fogg has one or two nice lines and sight gags, I suspect devised by Coogan himself."

Mark Kermode, The Observer (U.K.): "Around the World in 80 Days, combines the louche comedy skills of Steve Coogan with the rubbery body fun of Jackie Chan.

"With its rickety inventions, rocket-powered explosions, amazing balloons and endless scenes of people hitting each other, this is perfectly fine fare for young boys with an appetite for destruction. For older curmudgeons, there's Jim Broadbent in rotundly pompous fettle, Coogan in endearing form as the crotchety Phileas Fogg and a number of 'star' cameos from the likes of Luke and Owen Wilson, John Cleese and Arnold Schwarzenegger."

Fred Topel, About.com: "The First American Jackie Chan movie that doesn't make fun of him, that lets him be the cool guy."

Jim Slotek, Jam! Movies: "Passes the parental test in that it has wit, is cinematically loaded with scenic eye candy and moves along at an energetic enough pace to keep seat-squirming to a minimum."

Stella Papamichael, BBC: "Director Frank Coraci plays fast and loose with Jules Verne's classic tome Around The World In 80 Days, but his adaptation never runs out of gas. Steve Coogan dons the top hat and tails of 19th century inventor Phileas Fogg, but the real star of the show is Jackie Chan as his hapless valet Passepartout. With his inimitable blend of slapstick and chop-socky, he puts the kick in sidekick. Coraci maintains a breezy pace. this is a film that revels in its silliness.

"Coogan is endearingly awkward and provides a solid anchor for the typically madcap Chan. Ewen Bremner's bumbling copper, meanwhile, will undoubtedly keep the kids amused.

"Coraci delivers a cheerful round-the-world romp that will transport the whole family to a happy place in precisely two hours."

Peter Debruge, Premiere Magazine: "You may be pleasantly surprised by how good this remake of the Jules Verne classic really is. Kids deserve an adventure movie like this, one that might inspire them to become junior inventors and ignite their interest in the world's many wonders. “

DVD Review by Susan Papamichael of the BBC: "'It was like an endurance test making this movie,' says the otherwise boyishly cheerful Coraci in Discovering Around The World. It's a fairly standard look at the making of the film, from the inkwell of Jules Verne to the kung-fu stylings of Jackie Chan, but cast and crew lift proceedings with sheer enthusiasm. Still, Coogan politely takes the backseat to his high-kicking co-star, but perhaps that's because, as Chan observes, 'He's really, really British.'

"With reams of behind-the-scenes footage, Chan reveals how many of the key stunts were achieved in the fast and furious Around The World Of Jackie Chan. Among these, you'll see the little Chinaman dangling from a rope high above the streets of Berlin (doubling for Paris) in the hot air balloon escape sequence. 'He's the master,' states Coraci, marvelling at his unique ability to 'mesh martial arts and comedy.' But Chan sums it up a different way: 'I almost kill myself.'

A selection of eight deleted scenes (with optional commentary) is highlighted by John Cleese's bumbling bobbie on the beat.

"The humour is a little more understated in a laidback but engaging feature commentary by Coraci and Coogan. Among a generous scattering of behind-the-scenes trivia, Coogan cheerfully reveals that Phileas Fogg's house, as seen in the film, was actually 'a courthouse used by the Third Reich during WWII!' Meanwhile Coraci talks you through some of the more intricate action set-ups and counts down the number of direct hits to Ewen Bremner's bonce [skull].

"The DVD also offers the Everybody All Over The World music video, by Dave Stewart and the Sylvia School Children's Choir.

"Around The World In 80 Days doesn't pack too much baggage on DVD, however the bright and breezy trio of Coraci, Chan, and Coogan just about manage to keep it aloft."

Tim Knight, Reel.com: " A colorful, fast-paced, and enjoyably old-fashioned adventure comedy, Around the World in 80 Days breezily incorporates the spectacular acrobatics of Jackie Chan into Jules Verne's classic globetrotting yarn. It's a happy fit that makes for some giddily entertaining martial arts sequences that Chan choreographs and performs with tongue-in-cheek bravado. Although these sequences are the undeniable highlight of Around the World in 80 Days, this unofficial remake of the 1956 film starring David Niven is consistently engaging. Thankfully, director Frank Coraci (The Wedding Singer) has the good sense to keep the story moving without letting the action sequences overshadow Verne's intrepid heroes. And unlike the witless and frenetic Van Helsing, Around the World in 80 Days doesn't bludgeon you into submission with CGI-effects.

"Filmed on location in ten countries, Around the World in 80 Days is a silly and cheerfully broad comedy that will keep the kids and the grown-ups entertained, especially whenever Chan squares off against the dragon lady, General Fang, and her warriors. Now in his forties, Chan has lost none of the daring athleticism and slapstick timing that has earned him comparisons with silent screen clowns Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd for his work in such films as Legend of Drunken Master (1994) and Rumble in the Bronx (1996). A likable and good-natured performer of effortless charisma, Chan doesn't hog the screen from his co-stars. Coogan sends up British stiff-upper-lip resolve as the very proper and borderline daft Fogg, who's undone by the comely presence of spirited French impressionist painter Monique La Roche (Cecile de France). The chaste love interest for Coogan (this is a family movie, folks), de France makes a far more charming and plucky heroine than a miscast Shirley Maclaine, buried under make-up and veils, as the Indian Princess Aouda in the 1956 film. Packed with star cameos from Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kathy Bates, and Owen Wilson, to name a few, Around the World in 80 Days is a crowd-pleaser in the truest sense of the term."

James Plath, Reel.com DVD Review: "Instead of a staid David Niven, Coraci cast British comedian Steve Coogan, who's as likable a chap as any Disney hero—a self-effacing, humorous tiger trapped inside a kitten's body. Niven had Mexican comedian Cantinflas by his side, but the role of manservant Passepartout is given an energy boost by martial arts master and comic maestro Jackie Chan. Coraci wanted to give Chan a 'playground' to showcase his skills, and clearly Chan had fun choreographing and performing new stunts, including a scene where he leaps out of a second-story window to grab a moving rope. Shanghai Knights was a bust because the martial arts scenes overpowered the plot, and that doesn't happen here—partly because the fight scenes are shorter and better tied to plot, and partly because Chan blends nicely into an ensemble with Coogan and French actress Cecile de France, who shines as a frustrated artist.

In a 'making of' extra, we learn that the company filmed on location in the California desert, London, Paris, Austria, Beijing, Thailand, and Germany, with some 700 people involved the first day of the Thailand shoot. It's an above-average feature, as is 'Around the World of Jackie Chan,' which shows behind-the-scenes fight rehearsals and describes the difficulty in staging a 30-40 person fight scene.

"Coraci and Coogan handle the play-by-play commentary, and do a decent job, especially when they point out amazing work done with and without CGI.

"Viewers who select the commentary track see a version of the film with an alternate beginning tacked on. A music video and nine deleted scenes (with or without commentary) are also included, many of the latter so hilarious that it's a shame they were omitted just so the film could come in at two hours.

"In the original movie, a detective shadowed Fogg every step of the way, but the shadows are multiplied this time around. In addition to Inspector Fix (Ewen Bremmer), whose job it is to sabotage Fogg, a menacingly fun female General Fang (Karen Jay Morris) and her martial arts Scorpions go up against Passepartout/Lau Xing and his family of ninja Tigers over a jade Buddha. It sounds hokey, but it's great, fast-paced family fun—if, that is, your family has no problem with martial arts. The draw of the original film was the spectacular scenery, but at three hours it was kind of a drag. The Disney version (brought to life with a 2.35:1 enhanced picture and Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround) is fast-paced, and every departure from the book adds to the vitality. Kids will love the contraptions, while parents will get a kick out of Gov. Schwarzenegger, Kathy Bates, Luke, and Owen Wilson, singer Macy Gray, and billionaire Richard Branson in fun cameos—Branson's an ironic one, since he failed to make it around the world in a hot air balloon.

"Parents Note: Around the World in 80 Days is rated PG for action violence and the occasional 'damn' or 'hell,' and, presumably, for a random joke about male nipples. The fighting is all knock-down, with no deaths on camera and no blood—not even when Passepartout keeps getting stuck with daggers and sharp objects and winces in comic pain."

Betty Jo Tucker, ReelTalk Movie Reviews: "As soon as this highly entertaining movie got underway, I became hooked. Because of the movie’s fast-paced action, clever comedy and imaginative adventures, as experienced by characters I cared a great deal about, I found this remake to be one of the most enjoyable films so far this year.

"It’s a treat for the entire family. Most youngsters will enjoy the wild inventions on display, and adults should appreciate the film’s creative references to nineteenth century luminaries like Rodin, Monet, Van Gogh, the Statue of Liberty and Queen Victoria. They’re also likely to chuckle at cameos by such stars as the Wilson brothers (Owen and Luke), Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kathy Bates, Sammo Hung, John Cleese, Mark Addy and Rob Schneider as well as at the movie’s witty dialogue. Jim Broadbent (Iris), who plays the pompous villain with great relish, shouts my favorite line. 'This is the Royal Academy of Science; we don’t have to prove anything,' he insists. Kudos to three screenwriters named David (Ticher, Benullo and Goldstein).

"Jackie Chan (Shanghai Knights) throws himself enthusiastically into the role of Passepartout, a valet who’s involved in more than serving his master, and Steve Coogan’s (24 Hour Party People) impeccable comic timing pays off handsomely as the eccentric London inventor, Phileas Fogg.

"In describing the film’s objectives, director Frank Coraci (The Wedding Singer; The Waterboy) said, 'Our overall goal was to make an epic with a sense of humor; a fun movie that brings audiences to new places.'

"Chan, who demonstrates his signature comic-action style in several well-choreographed encounters, welcomed the opportunity to work with Coraci. 'Frank was very open to all the ideas I had for the action scenes,' he explained.

"Who wouldn’t be open to Chan’s ideas for action scenes? His special blending of comedy and martial arts has resulted in some of filmdom’s most exciting and dynamic action sequences. In Around the World in 80 Days, Chan’s colorful fight during a visit to an art gallery in Paris is one of his best.

"While at the gallery in question, Passepartout and Fogg meet Monique, a struggling artist played delightfully by French actress Cecile de France, who makes her debut in an English language Hollywood film here. Joining our heroes in their journey, Monique teaches the scientific-minded Fogg about the value of art and romance.

"Adding to the fun are appearances by Karen Joy Morris, a singer/actress who’s a household name in Asia, as the menacing General Fang, and Ewen Bremmer (Trainspotting) as Inspector Fix, the film’s hapless punching bag. Also, I would be remiss not to mention production designer Perry Blake’s (Little Nicky) contribution to the wonderful look of this film. 'We liked the 50s because they were the years when people tried to project what the future would be like,' Blake declared. 'You saw flying saucers and rocket ships and those kinds of things. We tried to integrate that into a movie that took place in the 1880s. It was ‘future retro’.'

"Future retro worked for me."

Lisa Rose, Newark Star-Ledger: "A journey worth taking."

Steve Rhodes, Internet Reviews: "Silly and energetic...it's pure fluff, but it's cute."

Urban Cinefile (Australia Review): "Chan may be pushing 50 now but you'd hardly know it from the moves he pulls off here. Still able to put most so-called action stars to shame, he leaps and dances his way through this cheerfully goofy version of the tale. Chan dominates proceedings as expected, though this is hardly a one-man show, with Coogan a restrained delight as the oddball Fogg and Belgian actress Cecile De France making a charming impression in a role that turns out to be more than simply decorative.

"This brightly polished new take on the classic continues the [multi-cameo] tradition, with appearances by John Cleese as a London policeman, Luke and Owen Wilson as The Wright Brothers, Kathy Bates as Queen Victoria and, best of all, Arnold Schwarzenegger as the outrageously hospitable Turkish prince Hapi. This was Big Arnie's final role before becoming California Governor and he performs as if he's still at the post-election party. Complete with long curly locks and flashing that big 'you like me, don't you' smile he's perfected over the years, Arnie is hilarious as he invites his guests into the hot tub and reminisces about the dignitaries he's enjoyed splashing around with. If he never makes another movie, the one-time Mr Universe has signed off in grand style here.

"For pure escapism and willingness to please it delivers the goods."

Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle: "Frank Coraci made a madcap entertainment of whizzingly good cheer, a Jackie Chan smackfest that hardly pauses for breath on its lap around the world. It sure is cute.

"It is all very silly. But there's a touch of magic in its silliness; as the film whooshes us from one locale to another, the vistas melt into storybook animations rendered in computer imaging. For a moment or two we see a glittering fairy-tale world. Then the view turns realistic once more, and we're dropped on our bums in the thick of some slapstick set piece -- watching Chan dispatch another rash of hit men, watching Fogg and his twinkie look on in bafflement and awe.

"As usual, Chan is irrepressible in his innocence, balletic in his stunts. His gift is gymnastic sweetness: He beats up the bad guys, but he's fetchingly childlike about it.

"Coogan looks at ease in a stovepipe hat and does a prig well, contorting his lips with rubbery umbrage at every imagined slight. When the time comes for him to melt, he melts convincingly. Anyone can guess what happens between Fogg and Monique -- but Coraci underplays the romance, shuttling things along so swiftly that we never have time to cringe.

"This watchable film is mercifully shorter than the original (by about an hour), more sophomoric, more comic-strip violent, loopier.
But it's having a good time on its spin around the orb, and it sweeps us along as it goes."

Jeff Strickler, Minneapolis Star Tribune: If [Verne] saw the movie with youngsters, he'd appreciate how much they enjoyed it."

M.E. Russell, Oregonian: "Enjoyable kids fare; Jackie Chan's fanny-kicking world tour is a textbook example of how a movie can be fun. Works more often than it doesn't."

Jonathan R. Perry, Tyler [Texas] Morning Telegraph: "All my critical faculties tell me I shouldn't recommend it. But when I think of how often I grinned (once a minute) and how often I checked my watch (never), I give up."

Austin O'Connor, Lowell Sun: "A pleasing mix of martial arts and madcap comedy, with a string of big-name cameos thrown in for good measure."

Danny Minton, Beaumont [Texas] Journal: "The colors, costumes and sets showed that Disney hasn't lost its magic yet."

Eric Lundegaard, Seattle Times: "Properly silly and slapsticky."

Daniel M. Kimmel, Worcester Telegram & Gazette: "A family movie that is the perfect summer distraction."

Louis B. Hobson, Jam! Movies: "Solid family entertainment that alternates plenty of laughs with plenty of adventure."

Jeffrey Chen, Window to the Movies: "Trippy, goofy and nearly senseless concoction [is] one of the more entertaining cases of 'What-the-heck?' out there."

Kit Bowen, Hollywood.com: "Like eating a candy bar: loaded with calories but also light and fluffy with a sweet Jackie Chan in the center."

Tiscali Film & TV (U.K.) Review: "Any film that has Arnold Schwarzenegger camping it up as a Turkish prince and Kathy Bates as Queen Victoria clearly has a strong sense of fun. The playfulness that runs through this updated Around The World In 80 Days is evident from not only the casting, which also includes cameos from John Cleese, Macy Gray and Richard Branson as a hot air balloon operator. There are plenty of throwaway visual gags (highlighted by a scene in a Parisian art gallery during an impressionism exhibition), some suitably madcap contraptions and a series of magical animated transitions along the journey.

"Produced independently by Walden Media, whose objective is to return family values to filmmaking, 80 Days is a wholesome slice of entertainment that harkens back to a more innocent era. There is, for instance, none of the crudity and cynical product placement that permeates such children's fare as Shrek 2. What there is is a sweetness and freshness.

"Steve Coogan does a fine job starring in his first big budget movie, bringing his natural wit and droll manner to the role inhabited by David Niven in the 1956 version. His undemonstrative style is in stark contrast to that of Chan who provides plenty of energy and outlets for it during the numerous acrobatic fight sequences.

"Director Frank Coraci (The Wedding Singer) keeps things moving apace as befits such a journey. The lush scenery, vivid art direction and ornate costumes all add to the film's colourful look."

Major Cast and Crew Credits and Awards:
Directed by Frank Coraci (The Waterboy, Click, The Wedding Singer, Murdered Innocence, Hawaiian Dick).

Written by David Titcher (Morgan Stewart's Coming Home, The Curse of King Tut's Tomb; WGA award nom for The Librarian: Quest for the Spear); David Benullo (Shadow Man, Hallowed Ground, Cupid) and David Goldstein (debut).

Stars Jackie Chan (Enter the Dragon, Fuk Sing Go Jiu, The Cannonball Run, The Big Brawl, The Protector, The Medallion; 20 awards and 28 nominations for acting, choreographing and composing for films including Shanghai Noon, Shanghai Knights, Rush Hour and Rush Hour 2 and The Tuxedo; 64 other films); Steve Coogan (Night at the Museum, Ella Enchanted, Marie Antoinette; five awards and eight nominations for works including 24 Hour Party People, I'm Alan Partridge, Pauline Calf's Wedding Video and Happy Endings); Robert Fyfe (Last of the Summer Wine, Babel, Midnight Oil, Formula 51, Xtro); Jim Broadbent (Gangs of New York, Brazil, Bridget Jones's Diary, Time Bandits, The Crying Game; won 2001 Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Iris; won 10 other awards and 18 nominations for works including Moulin Rouge, Topsy-Turvey, The Gathering Storm, Nicholas Nickleby and Little Voice; 42 other films and TV projects); Rob Schneider (Big Daddy, 50 First Dates, Click, Mr. Deeds, Muppets From Space, Martians Go Home; award nominations for Saturday Night Live, Deuce Bigelow: Male Gigolo and Deuce Bigelow: European Gigolo); Arnold Schwarzenegger (Batman & Robin, Kindergarten Cop, Twins, The Jayne Mansfield Story; won a Golden Globe for Stay Hungry; 13 awards and 17 nominations for works including The 6th Day, True Lies, The Last Action Hero, Teminator, Terminator 2, Terminator 3, Eraser, Junior, Total Recall, End of Days and Predator); John Cleese (Life of Brian, Die Another Day, Rat Race, The Meaning of Life, Fierce Creatures;, Oscar nominated for A Fish Named Wanda; another seven awards and 12 nominations for works including Monty Python's Flying Circus, Fawlty Towers, Monty Python & The Holy Grail, Clockwise, The Human Face, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and Cheers; 63 other films and TV projects); Luke Wilson (Charlie's Angels, Rushmore, Scream 2, Legally Blonde, Idiocracy, Masked and Anonymous; Won a Lone Star Film Award for Bottle Rocket; MTV Movie Award nominations for Old School and The Royal Tennenbaums); Owen Wilson (Armageddon, Meet the Fockers, The Cable Guy, Night at the Museum; Oscar nominated for The Royal Tennenbaums; won five other awards and 19 nominations for works including Shanghai Noon, Meet the Parents, Wedding Crashers, Rushmore, Starsky & Hutch and Zoolander); Kathy Bates (Rat Race, Dick Tracy; 2003 Best Supporting Actress Oscar for About Schmidt; 19 other awards and 35 nominations for works including Misery, Primary Colors, Dolores Claiborne, The Late Shift, Fried Green Tomatoes, Titanic, The Waterboy, Annie, Warm Springs); Ewen Bremner (Snatch, Pearl Harbor, Match Point, Naked, Skin; won awards for Trainspotting and Julien Donkey-Boy; nominations for Black Hawk Down and Skagerrak); Mark Addy (A Knight's Tale, The Time Machine, The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas; four award nomintions for The Full Monty and another for Still Standing); Macy Gray (Training Day, Domino, Idlewild; Image Award nomination for Lackawanna Blues); Ian McNeice (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Rome, Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, The Black Dahlia, Top Secret, The Russia House, The Nine Lives of Tomas Katz; 58 other films and TV projects); Karen Mok (DragonBlade; 23 Chinese-language films; two awards and five nominations for works including Sik San and Tung Mung Kei Yung) and Sir Richard Branson (Superman Returns, Casino Royale).

Cast also includes David Ryall (The Elephant Man, The Russia House, Truly Madly Deeply, Restoration, The Singing Detective); Roger Hammond (Bedazzled, Richard III, Possession, The Madness of King George, Keeping Mum, Morons From Outer Space; 37 other films and TV projects); Adam Godley (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Love Actually, Nanny McPhee, Thunderpants); Cécile De France (Irène, Mauvaise Foi; won five awards and two other nominations for works including Avenue Montaigne, Quand J'étais Chanteur, L'Auberge Espagnole, Les Poupées Russes and Haute Tension); Sammo Hung Kam-Bo (Enter the Dragon, Game of Death, Hsica Nu; four awards and 11 nominations for works including The Medallion and Ren Xia Ren; 48 other films); Howard Cooper (Beyond the Sea, The Low Budget Time Machine) and Maggie Q (Mission Impossible III, Rush Hour 2, Chek Law Dak Gung).

Executive Producers: Phyllis Alia (The Waterboy, Murdered Innocence); Jackie Chan (Shanghai Noon, Shanghai Knights, The Medallion; won Best Asian Film at the 1994 Fant-Asia Film Festival for Jui Kuen II; won the 1989 Hong Kong Film Awards Best Picture honor Yin Ji Kau; produced 17 other films); Willie Chan (Shanghai Noon, Shanghai Knights, The Tuxedo, The Medallion); Alexandra Schwartz (Chain of Fools) and Solon So (Shanghai Noon, Shanghai Knights, The Tuxedo, Ban Zhi Yan; won 2002 Hong Kong Film Awards Best Picture honor for Bak Ging Lok Yue Liu}.

Co-executive Producers: Walter Josten (Wake of Death, O Jerusalem, Back in the Day, Bar Starz, 26 other films; Emmy for The Incredible Mrs. Ritchie) and Jeff Geoffray (Shergar, Silver Wolf, Behind the Red Door and 24 other films).

Producers: Bill Badalato (Top Gun, About Schmidt, Hot Shots Part Deux, Benny & Joon, Jane Austen's Mafia, Weeds; Golden Satellite Award nomination for Alien: Resurrection) and Hal Lieberman (Bridge to Terabithia, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, U-571, The Jackal).

Original Music by Trevor Jones (ASCAP Awards for Notting Hill and Cliffhanger; various award nominations for films including Brassed Off, Last of the Mohicans, Merlin, Mississippi Burning and The Mighty) and David A. Stewart (won four major awards for Alfie; was nominated for three music video Grammys for Eurythmics songs).

Stunt Coordinator: Rick Forsayeth (X-Men, AVP: Alien vs. Predator, Don't Say a Word, Tommy Boy, The Sentinel, Interstate 60; 56 other films and TV projects).

Cinematography by (Casino Royale, GoldenEye, The Long Good Friday and 29 more films).

Film Editing by Tom Lewis (The Wedding Singer, The Whole Nine Yards, Rat Race, The Waterboy, Scary Movie 4 and Employee of the Month).

Production Design by Perry Andelin Blake (The Wedding Singer, Big Daddy, The Waterboy, Happy Gilmore and Click).

Art Direction by Robert Cowper (Munich, Saving Private Ryan, Die Another Day); Sebastian T. Krawinkel (The Pianist, The Bourne Supremacy; Satellite award for V For Vendetta) and Pat Tagliaferro (For Your Consideration, About Schmidt, Benny & Joon, A Mighty Wind and My Girl).

Costume Design by Anna B. Sheppard (The Insider, Band of Brothers; Oscar nominations for The Pianist and Schindler's List; Saturn award nom for Dragonheart).

Special Effects Supervision by Kit West (The Bourne Supremacy, Enemy at the Gate, Dune, Doom, Daylight; won Oscar for Raiders of the Lost Ark; Oscar noms for Dragonheart and Young Sherlock Holmes; BAFTA award for Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi; 35 other films).

Visual Effects Supervision by Jessica Norman (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Alien vs. Predator and Corpse Bride).

Memorable Lines:
[Monique has just knocked out General Fang with a martial arts strike]
Passepartout: [astonished] She must be the eleventh tiger!
Monique La Roche: [curls fingers into claws] Meow.

Lord Kelvin: Well done, Salisbury! I shall name a beef-based entrée after you in your honor.

Phileas Fogg: [the Black Scorpion leader threatens him with his bracelet] Your threats do not frighten me, nor does your silly bracelet.
[a blade pops out of the bracelet]
Phileas Fogg: All right, it's not silly.

Trivia:
This was the first movie in which Luke and Owen Wilson played brothers.

When Fogg is stuck in San Francisco as a beggar you can see in the background (on the wall) a poster of a Hungarian national opera named Hunyadi János!






















































Links:
Internet Movie Database entry for Around the World in 80 Days

48 photos from Around the World in 80 Days

Link to 38 links for Around The World in 80 Days

16 Around the World Trailers (and links to others)

Spanish-language trailer for Around the World

Czech-language trailer for Around the World (various formats)

Russian-language official site

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