Review: 'Journey to the Center of the Earth' More Like a Wild Ride

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    Anita Briem, Brendan Fraser and Josh Hutcherson star in 'Journey to the Center of the Earth.'
By Kenneth Chan, Christian Post Editor
July 10, 2008|1:02 pm

If you’re thinking about heading out to the amusement park but are deterred by the scorching rays of the sun, you might want to consider going for a Journey to the Center of the Earth.

You’ll be in for quite a ride.

More than a good movie, Journey is a fun movie. The film speeds through like a roller coaster – which may be good or bad – and at times even feels like one. And through the special 3-D effects, the movie really pulls you in.

Based on the 1864 novel, Journey to the Center of the Earth centers on professor and vulcanologist Trevor Anderson (Brendan Fraser), who – with the help of his nephew (Josh Hutcherson) and a mountain guide from Iceland (Anita Briem) – uses his missing brother’s marked-up copy of Jule’s Verne’s “Journey to the Center of the Earth” as a guidebook to enter and navigate through a subterranean “world within the world.”

For those who haven’t read the novel, this movie will almost certainly get you thinking about it if not to the library after the movie’s ending credits.

The movie does an excellent job of bringing to life the world depicted in Verne’s classic novel and takes the audience into a fantastical place filled with wonder as well as terror.

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However, though promoters of the film call Journey a family adventure, there are some parts that may be too intense for younger audiences – particularly the scenes involving carnivorous creatures (thus the appropriate “PG” rating). Parents may want to think twice before taking the wee ones to this flick or hold them tight when the frightful scenes come up.

Furthermore, it may not be clear to many what the moral message of the movie is – perhaps because of the speed and intensity of the film. The message is most clear when Fraser’s character reads an entry from his brother’s journal – one of the few times in the film where the tempo is brought down a few notches after the Journey takes off. And it does appear at other instances, but not well enough to resonate in the audience or linger in the minds after the movie ends.

What will stick with them, however, is the fun and excitement the film brings.

Journey is the first full-length live-action narrative film released by a major studio at digital 3-D theaters; and it will be the widest 3-D release in the history of the technology when it comes out July 11.

Some may complain that the film feels too short or that it was more like fast-food than a full course meal. But like a shooting star, the movie is one you’ll want to see just for the experience – even if fleeting.

So if you’re looking for a fun and wild ride, go for a Journey. But make sure you’re watching it in a digital 3-D theater. Though the movie is also being simultaneously featured in 2-D theaters, it may not provide the same full effect.

And for those who require corrective lenses, you may want to consider putting in contacts if you have a pair – though putting on the special 3-D glasses over your own works out fairly well.

 

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