Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008)

Rated PG. Our ratings: V- 3 L- 1; S/N-1. Running time: 1 hour 32 min.

The latest of several movie versions of Jules Verne’s 1864 novel, director Eric Brevig’s film is no more
advanced in its science than was Verne. And Brendan Fraser’s acting is at about the same level. He
plays Professor Trevor Anderson, a university earth science professor whose brother Max ten years earlier had planted seismic monitors at volcanoes around the world and then disappeared. The brother’s widow drops off her surly son Sean (Josh Hutcherson) to spend some quality time with his uncle. Assured that they will have a good time together, Sean’s reaction is a dare. However, when Trevor reads his brother’s marked-up copy of Jules Verne’s novel, he discovers that Max has written in a secret code numbers of volcanic activity that match what Trevor is seeing displayed on the monitor at his lab.

Soon Trevor, with Sean almost dragging his heels, is off to Iceland for some field work, where he hires the beautiful mountain guide Hannah (Anita Briem). They become trapped by an earthquake in a cave, discover a load of diamonds, and then, when the floor gives way, fall down a huge hole, eventually landing in the gigantic hollowed at center of the earth. Really, no injuries at all. Then follows a series of preposterous adventures amidst dangerous prehistoric denizens of the core, and the attempt to climb back to the surface. This is truly a summer special-effects driven movie suitable for those wanting to escape the heat outside the theater. if you must go, go to a matinee, or wait until it comes to a “cheap seats” theater. Best thing about it for me is that it is just 92 minutes long. Oh yes, I forgot to mention that the film was shot in 3-D, and watching through the glasses this time did not result in a headache.