Run, Jackie! Run!
Who'd have thought that Jackie Chan could appear in a Jules Verne adaptation that didn't wholly suck? Not me. So colour me surprised. When I walked out of the cinema I felt I had been pleasantly entertained.
What movie was it? Around the World in 80 Days, of course.
I have not read the book, so, am unable to comment on differences or changes. I assume there was some rewriting done to make Chan the central character. I generally like Jackie Chan films. They are a good distraction when one is looking for an escape from reality and reason. I have no qualms about groaning during his films at the horrible plot or non existent acting. 80 Days was totally groan-free and full of genuine laughter.
The selling point would have to be Steve Coogan as Phileas Fogg. He was endlessly entertaining as the eccentric Fogg, but never stepped over the line into stupidity. The conflicts his character had to deal with were compelling and human. I am glad the motive for Fogg to go on the trip was his need to invent and not a greed for money. Thinking back on it, I'm finding more good things about this film.
Cécile De France as Monique La Roche brought a nice feminine warmth to the screen. A great accent (cause she's French!); stereotypical turn-of-the-century-French-maiden-look and exuberance to compliment Chan and Coogan.
80 Days is a cameo-fest. Most are funny and worth the effort; others are a waste of screen time and money (ie Macy Gray). From the moment the Wilson brothers appear on screen I couldn't stop laughing (I obviously stopped after, but not for a time).
Best line in the film is, "You had me at the nipples."
One of the best Jackie Chan American-financed films. Fun for the whole family.