Adequate entertainment as man and boy travel to the Earth’s core

2008-07-20 00:00

Journey to the Center of the Earth is the motion picture adaptation of Jules Verne’s classic novel and stars Brendan Fraser as science professor Trevor Anderson, whose relevance at the workplace has depreciated to liability status as his class has dwindled to a number of just two.

His conscience is also plagued by memories of Max, his brother, who disappeared under mysterious circumstances a decade back.

The plot takes off when Sean (Josh Hutcherson), nephew to Trevor and son of the presumed dead Max, is thrust upon the professor for 10 days. This immediately sets in motion a series of scientific anomalies that lead Sean and Trevor on an epic journey into the Earth’s core, and ultimately the truth behind Max’s disappearance. Our love interest in this fantasy adventure is delivered in the form of tour guide Hannah (Anita Briem), who assists Trevor and his nephew in navigating and negotiating the tricky territories that lie ahead.

The film is littered with moments of frivolous humour that goes down well with pre-teen audiences, but ultimately lends a cheesy element to the overall picture. While Brendan Fraser’s quirky portrayal of Trevor Anderson is adequate, he is rather unfortunately let down by poor performances from co-stars that are obvious to even the most untrained eye. Any viewer willing to suspend their disbelief through the 93 minutes of Journey to the Center of the Earth would be severely tested in that the computer-generated imagery is average at best and the script is poorly constructed — our heroes consistently defy logic through poor decision making that inevitably leads to more high-octane action.

The film does have a little going for it in that there are occasional sequences that get the pulse racing, and while it doesn’t come recommended, Journey to the Center of the Earth still does constitute watchable family entertainment.

**

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