Around the World in 80 Days [2004]

The 2004 version of Around the World in 80 Days is an entertaining hodge-podge of adventure, comedy, and scenery from across the globe. Phileas Fogg (Steve Coogan, 24 Hour Party People), an obsessively precise inventor, bets that he can circumnavigate the planet in 80 days--considered impossible in the Victorian era. In this version, Jackie Chan plays a Chinese peasant who retrieves a stolen idol from the Bank of England, then convinces Fogg to hire him as a French valet so that Chan can get back to his village. Chan supplies numerous spectacular fights against the forces trying to stop Fogg or get the idol, while Coogan is both funny and a surprisingly appealing romantic lead (he flirts with a fetching French painter who joins them). The various episodes--featuring cameos by Arnold Schwarzenegger, John Cleese, Owen Wilson, and Sammo Hung--are uneven, but a goofy good cheer prevails. --Bret Fetzer

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