Wednesday, June 16, 2004

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS: I've never read the Jules Verne classic, nor seen any of the many adaptations, so I guess I have the best chance to judge this movie on its own merits. First, Steve Coogan plays Phileas Fogg, and its a rather fun perfomance that carries the film. Second, this movie is executive produced, stunt choreographed, and performed in by Jackie Chan, who gives the film a lot of his trademark fight scenes using ordinary items as weapons and defense mechanisms. Third, there are several good cameos in here that I won't ruin if you want to go see it, although by seeing the trailer you know that California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger makes an appearance as a Turkish king. The movie moves pretty fast as Fogg takes his perilous journey around the world, where many people for their own reasons don't want him to make it in the alotted 80 days, especially the man at the head of England's science "clergy," Lord Kelvin (Jim Broadbent) who has made a bet to put both their jobs on the line. This is a fairly good adventure film, and the speed of it is merciful, but it would have been nice to see more stops (America is once again portrayed as merely a country with a west coast and an east coast), but its a fun movie. Frank Coraci, who made his "name" directing THE WEDDING SINGER and THE WATERBOY, directs in a businessman-like manner.


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