Hi, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab...
I'm a long time reader of the site and now, a first time poster.
I recently had the scarring experience of seeing 'Around the World in 80 days'. It wasn't a screening - let's just say I 'happened' upon a copy of it. Sorry i can't be more descriptive but i have a job to keep! Anyway the film had some unfinished effects but otherwise it was pretty much completed.
It stars Steve Coogan ('24 Hour Party People') and Jackie (The Man) Chan as well as a pile of cameos from anybody and everybody.
The story doesn't exactly follow Verne's book but what did you expect? Phileas Fogg (Steve Coogan) inventor and adventurer, makes a bet with the evil moustache twirling Lord Kelvin (Jim Broadbent) who is the Chairman of the Royal Geographic society - that he and his loyal manservant Passepartout(Chan) can travel around the world within 80 days. Unbeknown to Fogg, Passepartout has actually just robbed the Bank of England and has stolen a precious Jade Buddha and the law is out for his ass.
Turns out, this Jade Buddha is actually a precious idol that sits in pride of place in his beloved village back home in China and needs to be returned to restore fortune, peace and love (and the general happy clappy shit) back to the village. (Sankara stones anyone?) So Passepartout decides to use Fogg's bet to get back home to China as quickly as he possibly can.
So off Fogg and Passepartout go, meeting a saucy, (although utterly superfluous) french lass in the process named Monique (Cecile De France)who accompanies them on their journey. They meet Prince Hapi (Arnold Schwarzenegger???) a narcissistic Turkish prince who attempts to keep Monique as his wife. Coogan and Chan do the best they can with what they have - but sadly with this script, they never stood a chance.
Just seeing Arnold's wig is enough to condemn this film's negative to some deep sea vault. With the exception of John Wayne's cameo in 'The greatest story ever told' - Arnold's is the worst. It is magnificent in its shitness. Although he was quite convincing as a monstrous narcissist who hits on defenceless women....(ok, cheap shot!)
Owen and Luke Wilson pop up later on in the film being laconic and improvising a lot (Wow! that's fresh!) John Cleese gives a one line cameo as a wacky policeman, Mark (Full Monty) Addy does a turn, Maci Gray appears in a non speaking role (?) & 'Waterboy' alumni Kathy Bates and Rob Schneider drift past the cameras in an attempt to stir up audience interest. Sadly not even Jesus drifting past the camera would save this film.
This ultra expensive abortion is directed by Frank Coraci (Waterboy, The Wedding Singer) and frankly he should be fucked and burnt for what amounts to 90 minutes of utter rubbish. It's not funny, it's not a good adventure, it's not remotely engaging on any level. The script is apallingly predictable and it'll probably do really well at the U.S box office.
Harry - if you decide to use this review, call me 'Brundlefly'
Half-man, half-fly, all irritated by what sounds like a bloated mess. Of course, this is just one opinion, but that trailer didn’t exactly fill me with confidence. Guess we’ll have to wait and see...