Staring up at the New York City train station clock that he recognizes from a postcard calling him “coward,” Phileas Fogg asks the reporters gathered around him if the whole city knows that he is there. They say yes; his journey is in all the newspapers. He follows Fix and Passepartout to board their ship to England in a daze. While his companions enjoy drinks in the fine dining room, he stands on deck holding the flask that saved his life—given to him by his lost love Estella. He suddenly disembarks, telling Fix and Passepartout to leave without him if he’s not back before the ship sails.
“Where is he going?” Fix asks. “To stand under a clock and wait for a woman,” Passepartout answers.
Passepartout is again doubting Fogg, and his anger at Fogg’s abandonment leads to an argument with Fix. She leaves Passepartout to wait for Fogg on the dock.
Fogg does his own waiting in the train station. Finally, after nearly an hour, Estella calls out to him as he’s getting up to leave. She greets him with a slap, for leaving her alone on their planned trip around the world. He apologizes for ruining both of their lives, asking her to tell him about herself; he has all the time in the world.
Turns out her life has actually been good. She ended up in New York after traveling the world, married, had children. Her husband died four months ago. When she buried him, she thought of Fogg, and worried that this potentially brilliant man had never done anything with his life out of fear—and she was right. So she sent him the “coward” postcard.
She also reveals that Bellamy came to her the night before she and Fogg left on their trip to tell her to leave Fogg, who was useless. She didn’t believe him then or now.
Estella reminds Fogg that he has a boat to catch, but first he sadly asks what kind of life they could have had. She describes it and says that it’s not too late for Fogg, even if it is for the two of them: he can still be an extraordinary man. The only obstacle left is men like Bellamy. Don’t let him win.
They part with a hug and an “I have always loved you,” and Fogg runs off to catch his boat, where Passepartout has joined Fix on the dock, apologizing for taking out his frustration with Fogg on her.
There is another obstacle Estella didn’t mention: Bellamy’s fixer Kneedling. He grabs Fogg as he dashes through the streets, threatening him with a knife. A group of thugs approaches, eager to steal Fogg’s wallet, but Kneedling refuses to let them intervene. He—and, surprisingly, Fogg—fight them, but Kneedling eventually falls on his knife and they flee. It’s too late to save Kneedling, but he tells Fogg that Bellamy is in debt and hands over a telegram from him saying to “use any means necessary” to delay Fogg.
Fogg makes the boat in time.
A group of racist passengers think Passepartout is a waiter. Fix defends him, but he has a better way to show them up: dancing with Fix. They all leave in a huff.
When they land in Liverpool on the 80th day of their trip, Fogg is denied entry via customs due to an outstanding warrant from Hong Kong. The telegram line to Hong Kong is down, so the matter can’t be sorted, and Fogg is thrown in a cell for trying to run past the officers. He misses his deadline and fails his wager.
Outside the station where Fogg is being held, Passepartout tries to lay the groundwork for slipping away to a solitary life, saying his and Fix’s relationship only makes sense on an adventure, but she tells him that his “sacrifice” for her is cowardice, and makes him promise not to leave her in the thought that he’s making her life easier. He does.
Fogg is released the next day, Christmas, and glumly takes a train to London and his home with Fix and Passepartout. His butler Grayson asks why he’s not at the Reform Club; he only has 15 minutes to spare. By circumnavigating the globe, Grayson explains, Fogg gained a whole day on England. Today isn’t Christmas; it’s Christmas Eve.
Fogg, Fix, and Passepartout run to the Club. Seeing a crowd cheering outside, Fogg pauses as the seconds tick down. Passepartout tells him he loses forever if he lets Bellamy win, and Fix says that Estella was right all along. He continues, and they make it in the nick of time.
Fix hugs her father, fondly calling him “foolish man.” When she turns to introduce him to Passepartout, the Frenchman is gone.
Bellamy announces to the Club that the wager was never about the money—he was just trying to put a little fire under Fogg’s heels. “Agree with me or I’ll destroy you,” he whispers to Fogg. But Fogg reveals that he ordered Grayson to bring a check to the Reform Club after he left lest he not survive his journey, to be given to Bellamy when the wager ended. A waiter reveals the check, proving Bellamy’s lie.
It will cover your bankruptcy, Fogg tells Bellamy, letting him have the check. When the waiter tries to close out Bellamy’s bar bill, Bellamy shoves him out of the way. Everyone jeers Bellamy, following him to the door with taunts. Fogg pulls Fix into the lounge and bars the door. She asks him if he has seen Passepartout—and there he is, smiling.
The trio settle into chairs, alone, to drink brandy and smoke cigars, toasting to friendship. Fix reads a newspaper story about something in the ocean disturbing ships—perhaps a submarine? Fogg asks where it’s happening. When the club members break open the door, the trio is gone.