Around the World in 80 Days

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
Around the World in 80 Days Movie Poster Image
Book-based Jackie Chan adventure has cursing, innuendo.
  • PG
  • 2004
  • 120 minutes

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 7 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 6 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

The importance of friendship and teamwork. Honesty. The pursuit of knowledge and the understanding of the universe is a lifelong journey. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Passapartout is a fully-developed character instead of being a collection of bad and outdated Asian stereotypes. Women are shown to be just as brave and strong as men in a variety of martial arts fight scenes. 

Violence

Martial arts violence. Fighting with swords and spears. Gunshots. Pratfall violence: a corrupt police officer sent to catch Fogg gets hit in the head and groin and injured in a variety of ways. Rope to groin, hot water to groin. Knife throwing, one knife lands in the crotch of a painting of a man in the room. 

Sex

Fogg mutters sexual innuendo in a Turkish palace, and later when a character falls and lands on the arm of a statue with his groin. 

Language

"Hell." Some instances of sexual innuendo: When visiting a Turkish king who is surrounded by women playing musical instruments, Fogg makes reference to "pluck[ing] notes," as a man has fallen on the arm of a statue and scoots along it with his crotch, Fogg says, "I don't think he's doing it on purpose. 

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters drink shots of liquor, act drunk. Champagne drinking. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Around the World in 80 Days is a 2004 adaptation of the Jules Verne novel.  There is a lot of slapstick-, cartoon-, and action-style violence, including many crotch injuries, but no one is seriously hurt. Characters use mild bad language ("bloody hell"). There is some crude and vulgar humor, including bathroom jokes, drunkenness played for comedy, a weird cross-dressing joke, and a comic situation involving a man with many wives. One man who is imprisoned in a box for urinating in public is later shown, after being freed, on the verge of pulling his pants down and urinating in public once again. Rather than being a sidekick or a bad Asian stereotype, Jackie Chan portrays his character as someone just as vivid and intelligent as Phileas Fogg, and unlike so many martial arts movies, women are shown to be just as brave, strong, and skilled as men in the fight scenes. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byBlurbie April 9, 2008

B*O*R*I*N*G

A friend made me watch this with them and the whole time I was wishing I was somewhere else! It was soooooooooo boring! I don't know how any one can like i...
Adult Written byKetch April 9, 2008

Funny, but a little crude

I took my 8 & 10 yr old kids and being a Disney movie, was a little surprised by some of the cursing in the movie, there were several "D*mn" a... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old April 9, 2008
Teen, 14 years old Written byfuzzykat April 9, 2008

A must see-movie for kids under and some Adults

This movie is a tale about an inventor who makes a bet that he can go around the world in eighty days. His French valet has just quit. A man nick-named Passport... Continue reading

What's the story?

This retelling of Jules Verne's classic novel centers on Lau Xing (Jackie Chan), valet to inventor Phileas Fogg (Steve Coogan). The previous valet quit because he refused to test any more of Fogg's wild contraptions. Xing, on the run after stealing a valuable jade Buddha from the Bank of London, thinks the police will not find him if he's working for Fogg, so he pretends to be French and gives his name as "Passepartout." Fogg's bet with the peppery Lord Kelvin (James Broadbent) that he cannot circle the globe in 80 days provides Xing with the perfect cover for getting to China as quickly as possible to return the Buddha to his small town. There are a lot of stops in exotic locations and a lot of adventures involving obstacles to reaching the next stage of the journey and a few surprising cameo appearances, including Arnold Schwarzenegger as a sybaritic king.

Is it any good?

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS may take its title from the Jules Verne classic, but it's really just a Jackie Chan movie, and a so-so one at that. Overplotted and under-imagined, this movie tries hard to distract the audience with razzle-dazzle, but not even the stunts or fight scenes make much of an impression, and the preposterous final mode of transportation comes across as so lazy a concept it's almost insulting.

Coogan has an endearing sincerity and spirit and Cecile De France has a few nice moments as Monique, a pretty French artist who comes along for the ride. But Chan seems tired, even distracted, impatient to get it all over with.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how transportation has changed since the novel was written -- how many days would it take to circle the globe today?

  • What would be the challenges in adapting a novel first published in 1873 and making it something fresh for contemporary audiences? 

  • There are some scenes in which Fogg mutters off-color one-liners. Are these necessary for the movie? Do you think it's something put in to make the movie more enjoyable for adult audiences? 

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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