Our rating: 4 out of 5
reviewed by: Catie Brooke
"Will you be my valet?" Phileas Fogg (Steve Coogan) asked. The man looked at his questioner. Lau Xing (Jackie Chan) did not have much choice. He was now a thief in England. His prize was the small Buddha that had been stolen from his village in China. Moments after he said yes, Lau Xing had afterthoughts as he swung through the air at 50 miles per hour. For safety's sake Lau Xing changes his name to Passepartout and is so called this by Phileas Fogg. After taking a tour of Mr. Fogg's home Passepartout knows without a doubt he is an inventor.
The scene moves to the Science Academy of England where Phileas has said it is possible to travel around the world in 80 days. Every man wants something, comments Lord Salisbury, head of the academy, as he tempts Phileas into a bet. Smiling, Phileas replies that he wants Lord Salisbury's job. A bet is made to travel around the World in 80 days. However, if Phileas fails to win he must never step foot into the academy again, take down the dreadful eyesores in front of his yard, and... no more inventing. To make his journey worse General Fang, partner with Lord Salisbury, will attempt to kill Phileas and retrieve the Buddha.
Although Phileas has no idea that Passepartout is a thief and being followed by General Fang, he begins his great adventure to travel the world. On their way they meet a Monique La Roche (Cecile De France), a young French lady. Reluctantly Phileas allows her to accompany them. In India Prince Hapi sends for Phileas, Passepartout and Miss La Roche. When Phileas decides to leave Prince Hapi will not release Miss La Roche, as she is to become his 6th or 7th wife. By the end of this scene the princes favorite statue of himself is destroyed and Miss La Roche leaves with Phileas. Arriving in China Passepartout brings the Buddha home to his village. While visiting the village, Phileas finds out the true reason as to why Passepartout agreed to be his valet. Heartbroken he travels to his next destination alone.
In New York Phileas finds himself a beggar... overnight. But charming Miss La Roche and faithful Passepartout come to the rescue. Many adventures later they arrive back in England awaiting yet another surprise and Queen Victoria! I have never read the book but I'm sure many liberties have been taken in the movie. Compared to the older version of Around the World in 80 Days it is extremely adventurous and hilarious movie. Sadly there were a few things in it that might be disagreeable. During a train trip, Miss La Roche crosses her legs revealing some of her tights. Phileas glances over and begins to smile. Suddenly realizing that Miss La Roche is looking at him, he snaps back into the real world and in the process turns over a tray of food. After reluctantly joining Prince Hapi in India Phileas, Passepartout and Miss La Roche get in a Jacuzzi with him. Miss La Roche is dressed in her undergarments showing a little of her cleavage.
While Passepartout is gripping a rope from a hot air balloon he hits into a statue of a naked man.
Shortly after Passepartout brings home the Buddha the village bows down and worships it. Sadly these people do not have the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Surprisingly there was not a whole lot of kissing in 80 Days, and some mild language (4 d--- words, 2 words using the Lords name in vain, 1 use of h--- and perhaps the use of "bloody"). Despite the objectionable content I would recommend Around the World in 80 Days. Its not slow like some movies and extremely fun to watch. Jackie Chan added a great deal of humor to it. It would be great to watch this as a rental movie on a DVD or VHS player that removes improper language.