- Movie Rating -

Around the World in 80 Days (2022)

| May 13, 2022

I hated this movie.  I really did.  I know full-well that it was not made for my 50 year-old brain but I think that a child would be bored by it.  It does no service to the story from which it gets its name.  Give your kids the book instead, you’ll be doing them a favor.

I read the book in grade school (circa 1980) and I came away kind of thrilled at the challenge of willfully (and naively) circumnavigating the globe three decades before the Wright Brothers historic flight.  The adventures, I thought . . . the adventures!!  Having read it several times since, I am still in awe of its majesty, and of it’s storytelling, particularly it’s brilliant twist ending.

What was the thinking with this movie however?  It borrows the title and the basic idea of Verne’s work and shoves it all into an annoying animated comedy in which the characters are broad strokes and the jokes are barely passable for a cereal commercial.  It has a visual palette that feels off.  Right at the beginning the hero’s mother bursts into tears the prospect that her son is growing up, but when she cries gallons of water pour out of her face like a mall fountain.  That throws off the whole tone of the movie, particularly since the mother is made of clichés about doting mothers.  She never comes off as a character just a lot of shrieking and doting and scolding.  It’s kinda irritating.

The movie takes place in a world of civilized animals but the animation is so ugly that you are immediately repelled.  The characters have massive crooked teeth and speak with the kinds of voices that bullies use to make fun of the smaller kids.  Our hero is a marmoset named Passepartout whose dream is to travel around the world and have adventures like his hero Juan Frog de Leon.  The problem: well, he’s a kid and his mother is apparently insane.  Everyone in town mocks him mercilessly for his dream.  They makes bets on who can make him cry.

Passepartout can’t go it alone, and so he accidentally mixes up with a surfer dude named Phineas who is a crook and a pickpocket and backs into a bet that he can circumnavigate the globe in 80 days.  Passpartout is thrilled and the two set off on a journey that is loaded with generic settings, generic villains, pointless side-characters and that tiresome trope of having the two leads hate one another but over-time gain a sense of mutual respect.

The movie has insults and puns in place of wit or charm.  It has deserts and jungle in place of actual magical locations.  It has tropes instead of a functioning story.  It’s ugly, it’s annoying.  Just give your kids a copy of the book.  It’s magical.  Unlike this stupid movie, they’ll never forget it.

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(2022) View IMDB Filed in: Animated