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Film / Around the World in 80 Days (2004)

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The 2004 film adaptation of Jules Verne's Around the World in Eighty Days. It stars Jackie Chan, Steve Coogan and Cécile de France. The film is set in 19th-century Britain and centers on Phileas Fogg (Coogan), here reimagined as an eccentric inventor, and his efforts to circumnavigate the globe in 80 days. During the trip, he is accompanied by his Chinese valet, Passepartout (Chan). For comedic reasons, the film intentionally deviated wildly from the novel and included a number of anachronistic elements.

The film is notable for being Arnold Schwarzenegger's last film before he took a hiatus from acting to become Governor of California.

The film was nominated for two Golden Raspberry Awards: Worst Remake or Sequel and Worst Supporting Actor (for Arnold Schwarzenegger).

Around the World in 80 Days provides examples of:

  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Lord Kelvin. Possibly subverted with other British lords since they are only ordered to follow Kelvin and when the Queen arrives, they immediately side with her.
  • Award-Bait Song: Everybody, All Over The World (Join The Celebration) by David A. Stewart from the Eurythmics.
  • Badass Crew: The Ten Tigers (including Lau Xing and Wong Fei Hung). Only ten of them can curb-stomp many mooks of Black Scorpion.
  • Becoming the Mask: Passepartout/Lau Xing initially only used Fogg and (without Fogg's acknowledgement as he used other British lords to deliver the message) convinced him to accept the bet to travel around the world, so Lau Xing himself can go home to China. However, Lau Xing eventually grows respect for Fogg and chooses to help him win the bet.
  • Belly Dancer: Passepartout, Fogg and Monique were invited to attend the palace of a Turkish prince. Upon entered, they were welcomed by the sight of belly dancers performing to music played by the prince.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Just like some other Jackie Chan's Hollywood films, there are Caucasian villain (Lord Kelvin) and Asian villain (General Fang).
  • Bilingual Bonus: In the Chinese Jail scene, there's a man jailed alongside Passepartout, Fogg and Monique who's screaming something at the top of his lungs in Mandarin. Passepartout/Xing says that he's asking to be let out because he's bored. However, viewers who understand Mandarin will know that he's actually screaming "Let me out, my butt really itches!".
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: Daniel Wu's character wears gauntlets with projecting blades in his battle against Lau Xing.
  • Brainless Beauty: Monique averts this. Unlike Fogg, she correctly guesses that Passepartout/Lau Xing was hiding something and has his own agenda. She then becomes his Secret-Keeper until Fogg blow their covers.
  • The Cameo:
  • The Captain: The protagonists ride a ship whose captain is a Fogg's fanboy. Fogg managed to convince him to use his ship as resources to create a prototype flying machine.
  • Casting Gag:
  • Chain Pain: The Giant Mook in India uses this in his battle against Passepartout.
  • The Chew Toy: Inspector Fix's sole purpose in this version, other than to pursue Fogg, is to be battered, tortured and brutalized in his every scene, all for laughs of course.
  • Clapper Gag: A variant of this trope that involves turning the lights on and off via whistling. This eventually leads to another gag where Jackie Chan's character whistles in astonishment, accidentally turning off the lights in the process.
  • Composite Character: Passepartout and the thief are the same character in this adaptation.
  • Cool Boat: Fogg uses one as resource to create a prototype flying machine.
  • Cool Plane: Parodied. Apparently the Wright Brothers may have never invented the airplane if Fogg didn't motivate them. Originally, they only had a design but never actually worked on it because one of the brothers thought it was too impossible and stupid to work. Fogg, being an eccentric inventor himself, thinks otherwise and inspires them to continue, so said brother quite immediately changes his mind.
  • Corrupt Cop:
    • Inspector Fix (though he's an incredibly incompetent one). Which is Lampshaded by Lord Kelvin when Fix hilariously fails to attempt to hinder Fogg during the first day of the bet.
      Lord Kelvin: [annoyed] Damn that nincompoop, Fix. What's the point of hiring a corrupt police officer if he can't abuse the law properly?
    • An American cop whom General Fang hired to trap the protagonists.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Ten Tigers vs. Black Scorpion. Despite the tigers being heavily outnumbered, they still win.
  • Death by Adaptation: Barely averted with Inspector Fix, though he still suffers some serious (amusing) injuries.
  • Destination Defenestration: Lord Kelvin does this to Fix when he returns to England having failed to stop Fogg. He survives.
  • Faux Action Girl: Maggie Q's character who attempts to capture Fogg in India, but is defeated by accident.
  • Favouritism Flip-Flop: Wilbur Wright is vocally dismissive of his brother Orville's plan to build a flying machine until Fogg praises it, whereupon Wilbur immediately starts asserting that he knew all along it was a great idea.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: Once the trio return to England, and only seconds away before their time is up, Lord Kelvin has them arrested and gloats that by the time they are released from jail, the wager will already be lost. The fact that he doesn't mention that they are supposedly just seconds away from losing foreshadows that, due to the timezone difference, the trio still have a day to spare.
  • The Foreign Subtitle: In Brazil, the movie is known as "A Volta ao Mundo em 80 Dias - Uma Aposta Muito Louca" (Around the World in 80 Days - A Very Crazy Bet).
  • Giant Mook: Passepartout/Lau Xing fought one in India.
  • Groin Attack: Spoofed. General Fang throws a knife at Lord Kelvin's portrait's crotch.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Having had enough of Lord Kelvin's mistreatment, Fix chooses to support the protagonists by telling the public that Lord Kelvin ordered him to hinder Fogg's journey so he could win the bet.
  • Hiding in a Hijab: The three protagonists did this in India (which was British colony at the time) after they discovered that they just became fugitive (thanks to Lord Kelvin finding out Fogg's "valet" was the bank robber). Only Monique managed to maintain the disguise as long as possible. Maggie Q's character also briefly disguised in one.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • After meeting General Fang, Lord Kelvin diminishes the idea of women leading men, right before passing by the portrait of Queen Victoria.
    • Upon reaching San Francisco, Phileas Fogg remarks how happy he is to be back "in civilization", all while the sound of gunfire, broken bottles, and women's screams can be heard nearby.
    • When Phileas asks Lord Kelvin which proof he has that the former has robbed the bank of London, Kelvin retorts that they are in the Academy of Science, which means he doesn't have to proof anything.
  • Historical Fiction: The movie adds cameos by Vincent van Gogh, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Queen Victoria, Wong Fei Hung, the Wright Brothers, and even the Statue of Liberty!
  • Historical In-Joke: The movie has many historical characters and references to the events and culture of the late 19th and early 20th centuries (the rise of impressionism, the inventions of light bulb and aeroplane).
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: Lord Kelvin. The real Lord Kevlin was a physicist responsible for formulating the first and second laws of thermodynamics, discovering the concept of absolute zero temperature (and getting the resulting scale named after him to boot), and many other worthy scientific achievements. He received his knighthood for his work on the Transatlantic Telegraph Cable, including several inventions used in the project. The film turns him into a sniveling, conniving backstabber who attempts to stop Phineas Fogg out of little more than professional jealousy.
  • Improvised Weapon: Fogg uses a sextant, of all things, to hilariously and miraculously KO a Chinese female mook in India!
  • The Ingenue: Fogg is portrayed a pretty clueless nice guy. He can't even tell that his valet doesn't really speak French!
  • Internal Reveal: Fogg learning who Passpartout really is.
  • Lame Rhyme Dodge: When Lau Xing catches sight of his home, he can't resist exclaiming, "My village!" When Fogg, to whom he still hasn't admitted the true purpose of his journey, asks him what he said, he claims it was "My, what a village!"
  • Leave the Two Lovebirds Alone: Shortly before the launch of Fogg's flying machine, Passpartout takes note of the way Fogg and Monique are looking at each other and announces he's going to go and sharpen the propeller.
  • Line-of-Sight Name: Lau Xing is looking at a passport when Fogg asks for his name. He accordingly blurts out, "Passport...tout."
  • MacGuffin: The jade Buddha.
  • Motor Mouth: Lau Xing tells Fogg the reason he speaks with a Chinese accent is because his Chinese mother was this, compared to his French father who was a Henpecked Husband.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: Lord Kelvin. All he does in the entire film is sit in his room and command General Fang and Inspector Fix to stop the protagonists.
  • Official Couple: Fogg and Monique by the end of the movie.
  • Priceless Ming Vase: The Turkish prince speaks movingly about his most prized possession, a statue of himself. Naturally, it's destroyed comically shortly afterward.
  • Race Lift:
    • Passepartout is changed from French to Chinese, although he tries to pass himself as a Frenchman in order to be hired by Phileas.
    • Monique is basically a replacement for Aouda, so she's changed from Indian to French.
  • Right Behind Me: This happens to Lord Kelvin as he is making fun of Queen Victoria.
  • Rule of Funny: Pretty much the reason why this film exists and is still favorable despite being nothing compared to the 1956 film.
  • Tantrum Throwing: After Lord Kelvin first learns that the Jade Buddha was stolen, he finishes his berating of Colonel Kitchener by tossing things at him, topping things off with a set of quill pens. Later in the same scene, after General Fang obliquely implies he was incompetent in guarding the Buddha while stating her intent to recover it for him, he tries to throw a quill at her as well, only for her to effortlessly catch it. Finally, towards the end of the film, a man delivers a message regarding Fogg's progress on the journey, beating a hasty retreat as soon as the message touches Kelvin's desk. Cue a scream of rage and a bunch of quills embedded in the door.
  • Time Title: Film adaptation of the book, Around the World in Eighty Days.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • Monique one-hit KOed General Fang. Granted, the Chinese villainess is already exhausted, but even Lau Xing addressed Monique as "the eleventh tiger" because of this.
    • Fogg himself does try to be one to rescue Monique against Maggie Q's character in India. And with some luck, he actually managed to KOed her!
  • Unwanted Assistance: Lau Xing yelled to Fogg to stop trying to help, in the middle of a big fight with multiple opponents.
    Phileas Fogg: Watch out on the right! [Passepartout turns around to find nothing] ...No, no, my right.
    [Passepartout gets ganged up on]
    Passepartout: STOP HELPING ME!
    Phileas Fogg: [sheepishly] Sorry.
  • You Have Failed Me: When Inspector Fix returns without either Fogg or the MacGuffin, Lord Kelvin pushes him out a window. Although being a Disney movie, Fix doesn't die. When he returns in the final scene, Lord Kelvin can be heard muttering that he should have used a higher window.
  • Your Other Left:
    Phileas Fogg: Watch out on the right! [Passepartout turns around to find nothing] ... No, no, my right.