‘Ello everyone. On my way back to the US, doing my own trip across the world, I watched Around the World in 80 Days. All I have to say about it is: poo de chien sur mon visage (as the throwaway character Monique would say. I say dog poo in my face, straight up). We were a twin house divided on this one (a little) let’s get into it:
- The Bad – Jules Verne’s spinning corpse could power a small city, this is possibly the worst adaptation of a book in history, it is offensive. Lord Kelvin’s portrayal offends me as a scientist and resident of Britain. Literally a comically diabolical villain, it is offensive. The movie is objectively racist at times. The way they treat British imperialist rule (as a source of comedy) is offensive.
- The Worse – The movie itself offended me and upset me so much that it made me question my life and Bad Movie Thursday as a construct. I will never forgive this movie for that. I could barely watch Terminator Genysis on the plane after. But I persevered. I overcame.
- The Worst – Jackie Chan’s presence as (almost definitely) the star of the movie is inexplicable. The sets are straight out of Epcot, they are insanely and bizarrely terrible. Steve Coogan’s performance is lazy and by the end it seems like he is just begging for the sweet release of death at every moment. The aforementioned Monique (an impressionistic artist from Paris) was pointless, a walking talking romantic plot point. Even the cameos (Arnold as a Turkish prince, Owen and Luke Wilson as the Wright Brothers in particular) should have been fun, but ended up being tragically unfunny. This movie was garbage.
- The Good – Arnold looked like he had fun. Good for him.
- The BMT – I say bad. An unpleasant, boring, surreal experience I never wish to relive.
I hate hate hated this movie. Jamie seemed to think the middle was just bonkers enough to make you think “wait, maybe this isn’t a terrible adaptation, maybe it is … bold?”. I disagree, this movie is garbage. There is nothing bold about this adaptation, it is just an aggressively dumb children’s version of the story. Something like an updated mock travelogue version of the story? That’s bold. This was offensive and stupid.
Thanksgiving (more popularly known as TGivs) is the day we give thanks. Well I give thanks for my friends and family. I give thanks for the health and happiness of those I love. I give thanks for the opportunities that have been granted me. But I mostly give thanks for all the terrible movies that Hollywood provides to us each year. Oh you’re thinking of making Gods of Egypt? Why thank you. Super odd Warcraft video game adaptation? Thanks again! An inexplicable sequel to Snow White and the Huntsman that no one asked for!?!?! So many thanks to give Hollywood! And this is just looking forward to the first few months of 2016. Hollywood works hard for us and it’s long overdue to give them thanks. Back in 2004 the thanks would have gone a little something like this: “Wait, so you’re telling me that you’re making a big budget adaptation of a 130 year old property starring Jackie Chan and it’ll have a cameo by Arnold Schwarzenegger?! Uh, yah. Thank you, Hollywood!” And oh, how thankful we should have been.
Patrick’s assessment of my feelings on the film is spot on. The beginning and the end are so bad that it upset me. Everything with the Royal Society hurt me physically to watch. But the middle of the film was just so crazy insane that you couldn’t help but kinda give them some props for going so nuts with the adaptation. There is a scene where Jackie Chan is hanging from a rope attached to a hot air balloon and his pants get caught on a statue. A character says “Oh! That statue grabbed his trousers!” And we smash cut to the statue SMILING! The fucking statue was smiling. The only implication you can get is that the director truly wanted you to think that indeed, the statue grabbed and pulled off Jackie Chan’s trousers. And that’s when the film grabbed me by my trouser heart.
Alright, so for a little game this week I think I might Sklogify It. The sklogified version of this film would be called Around the World in 80 Sklogs and the entire conceit would be that me and Patrick would play every character in the film, plus have approximately 50 cameos that are totally tangential to the primary plot. Don’t worry, Patrick. I will play both the main character and his love interest. Although, that will not make the sex scene any less disturbing. “Why write in an unnecessary sex scene?!” you may ask. We’re trying to get the butts in the seats, aren’t we? Case closed.