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Thursday, June 17, 2004

Movie: Around the World in 80 Days

Posted on Thu, Jun 17, 2004 at 4:00 AM

**
Around the World in 80 Days
Length: 2h 0m
Studio: Walt Disney
Release Date: 2004-06-16
Cast: Jackie Chan, Steve Coogan, Jim Broadbent, Kathy Bates, John Cleese
Director: Frank Coraci
Screenwriter: David Titcher, Michael D. Weiss, David M. Goldstein
WorkNameSort: Around the World in 80 Days
Our Rating: 2.00
To make it through this one, you'll have to keep reminding yourself that you really, really like Steve Coogan - and not just because he looks a lot like Justin Hawkins of The Darkness. The limey mischievousness that sparked 24 Hour Party People and Coffee and Cigarettes struggles to break through Disney's Fogg-bound reinterpretation of the Jules Verne adventure classic, with old Phileas relegated to unfunny kibitzing in slapstick action sequences dominated by a slowed-down Jackie Chan. As if the retention of one "actor" with atrocious English skills wasn't bad enough, we also get Governor Arnold in an embarrassingly narcissistic role as a Turkish prince. That's not the last of the celebrity cameos the movie throws out in apparent homage to the 1956 David Niven version, but this time, they're mere shadow-puppet distractions from a story devoid of genuine wit, urgency or suspense. Even in this technologically lavish day and age, the visits to foreign lands feel like perfunctory gambols across a crowded soundstage. Maybe the flick should have been titled Around the Lot in 125 Minutes.

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