If you’re looking for a wholesome adventure movie for the whole family you’ve just found it. Although it works perfectly well if you just want to get high and watch people travel to a place less traveled. Journey to the Center of the Earth is a movie about exactly that, an adventure that’s going to take our heroes to a bizarre place full of even more bizarre creatures. It’s based on an 1864 Jules Verne novel of the same name which gives it a special flavor. Just think how revolutionary and exciting this novel was back then. This movie also tries to do the same as it’s one of those 3D movies that were popular during the late 2000s.
Despite the $60 million budget, the CGI did not age well. However, you can still look at it as a charming artifact of a bygone era of special effects. I don’t know whether this is because of the whole 3D thing or something else, but Piranha 3D still looks amazing. Moving on, Journey to the Center of the Earth stars dashing Brendan Fraser who was the perfect choice for the lead role. We’ve also got young Josh Hutcherson whom you might remember as Peeta from The Hunger Games. However, Icelandic actress Anita Briem stole the show for me. Anita brought her well-written character to life with charm, skill, and enthusiasm.
One of the main reasons why I decided to recommend this movie is its story. There are so few movies featuring people going deep into the Earth’s crust that we must cherish the ones we have. Among them, perhaps the best one is The Core from 2003. And that’s pretty much it. Although it features a sort of parallel universe, Land of the Lost starring Will Farrell is also a good choice. Of course, the movie we’re talking about today is just one of the more recent adaptations of Verne’s novel. And it even got a sequel, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island starring none other than Dwayne The Rock Johnson. Both movies were financial successes making more than $500 million at the box offices around the world.
Meet Trevor Anderson, a volcanologist with a strange theory. You see, his brother Max disappeared almost ten years ago and Trevor is determined to find out what happened to him. After a bit of research with his nephew Sean, the two of them end up in Iceland. There they hook up with Hannah and now three of them start the expedition. An expedition that’s going to lead them to a strange place forgotten by time.
I think it’s best to treat Journey to the Center of the Earth 2008 edition as a forgettable television movie. It’s mildly entertaining and it has framing issues. I felt that the camera is too close to the actors almost all the time. This was probably due to the size of the set although I’ll admit this makes the movie feel more claustrophobic. And it also creates a huge contrast when they eventually, well, I don’t want to spoil anything. But I think you already know what’s going to happen.
Featuring a short running time of just ninety minutes and a vibrant atmosphere, Journey to the Center of the Earth is a movie worth watching once. You should check it out when you’re in the mood for something like this, an adventure primarily aimed at a younger audience.
Director: Eric Brevig
Writers: Michael D. Weiss, Jennifer Flackett, Mark Levin
Cast: Brendan Fraser, Josh Hutcherson, Aníta Briem, Seth Meyers, Jean Michel Paré, Jane Wheeler
Fun Facts: Paul Chart was the original director of the movie who gave up on the project once the studios expressed their desires for the movie to be shot in 3D. He felt that this is not compatible with his vision for the movie. And that it would make it too commercial, like a “theme-park ride”.