Jackie Chan starred in the Walt Disney classic Around The World In 80 Days. This is by far one of the best Around The World In 80 Days films to date. At least that is what I feel. It gives so much more to the characters and they are not dry or dull like in previous incarnations of films with the same name. If Jules Verne saw this version I think that he would instantly fall in love with it. This one is definitely a family classic that will be enjoyed by generations to come.
With that said, I would have to rate Arnold Schwarzenegger’s portrayal of Prince Hapi as a scene that would have been better off left on the cutting room floor. The guy is a great actor in his own right, but as this one character it just didn’t work right. It seemed forced and thrown in at the last minute to boost ratings or something. Remember, that is my opinion and may not be what actually happened, it just feels that way.
The rest of the film was fantastic and I have watched the film many times and I am sure I will be watching it many times again in the future. I loved Cecile De France portrayal of Monique La Roche. She was both sexy and vibrant as that character and she should definitely do more comedies as she did such a wonderful job playing opposite of Jackie Chan. It’s the first time I have seen her in any film and would love to see those long stockinged legs again in a film.
This is a little embarrassing but I could not remember seeing the actor that plays Phileas Fogg in anything. I had to go look him up on IMDB to see what he had been in. Steve Coogan has made many films that I have seen, just never realized it. He is a very diverse actor and a busy one. He is not just a stuffy inventor with an inferiority complex or stuck-up. He gives real character to the role that Verne wrote about.
The plot of the film is that members of the Royal Academy of Science in England want to have access to all of the jade deposits that are under a particular village in China. A warlord form the area sends to them a jade Buddha to get things started. The warlord, a woman, wants their help in taking over the province and for their help will give them access to the deposits. Lau Xing, a member of the village and the famed 10 Tigers from that province, goes to England to retrieve the sacred jade Buddha that the warlord stole from his village. As he is running from the police he winds up in the service of Phileas Fogg and sets things up so that Fogg winds up taking a wager that he can circumvent the glove in only 80 days. If Fogg wins he will be the new Minister Of Science. This insures that Lau Xing, aka Passepartout is able to return the Buddha to his village.
All along their travels the Ministry and the warlord are trying to stop them so that they can get the Buddha back and set things up for the control of the deposits and the province. If you have not yet seen this film, you should. You and your family or significant other will enjoy watching it with you.