Around the World in 80 Days

Remember those old Vincent Price horror movies from the ’60s with names like “Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven,” or “Edgar Allen Poe’s The Oblong Box,” and the only thing the film had in common with Edgar Allen Poe was the title? Welcome to “Around the World in 80 Days,” the world’s most expensive independent film.
Jules Verne might be rolling over in his grave. Indeed, David Niven, star of the 1956 Oscar Winning film of the same name, might be rolling over in his grave. Don’t look for this year’s version to win any Academy Awards, but for two hours on a Saturday afternoon, you could do a lot worse (I won’t mention any cats by name, but Garfield comes to mind.)
What originally started as a loving homage to the Jules Verne classic quickly degenerated into a slapstick farce once martial arts ace, Jackie Chan signed on to play Passepartout, the loyal French valet to the fanatical British inventor Phileas Fogg. (Does anyone but me remember that Fogg was not an inventor in the original novel.) In the 1956 version, Passepartout was played by the superb Mexican actor, Cantinflas. This time by Chinese actor Chan, who claims he is French, on his father’s side. Maybe next time they’ll find a Frenchman to play the part.
Fast paced with all the silly action stunts you’ve come to expect from a Jackie Chan vehicle, lots of goofy contraptions from inventor Fogg, cameo appearances from the likes of Chan’s previous sidekick, Owen Wilson, and the Governator, Arnold Swartzenegger, combine for good, if sometimes garish, effect.
Family Factor:
Rated PG for some crude humor and sanitized fight sequences.

On a side note, Walden Media, which bankrolled “Around the World in 80 Days” is currently shooting the live action version of the C.S. Lewis classic, “Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.” Let’s hope their screenwriter stays a little closer to the original source material.The OneMinuteMovieReview is provided as a service to family movie-lovers. For more reviews of the American entertainment complex visit www.wordcrafts.net/reviews.

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