Directed by: Eric Brevig
Written by:Michael D. Weiss, Jennifer Flackett, Martin Levin
Starring: Brendan Fraser, Josh Hutcherson, Anita Briem, Seth Meyers, Jean Michel Pare, Jane Wheeler
Released: September 25, 2008
Grade: B+

If you’re going to take your kids along to see Journey To The Centre Of The Earth this school holidays, you need to make sure you get to a 3D session.  The small problem is that the 3D sessions are only available at three cinemas here in Brisbane.  All the other cinemas are showing it in the regular 2D format.

I make this proclamation because you’ll find the movie far more entertaining with the extra dimension.  In terms of the big screen, 3D technology has come a long way.  A few years ago, I can remember wearing dodgy cardboard glasses that hurt your nose after about two minutes.  Those days are behind us thankfully.  When you see this movie, you’ll get a comfortable pair of glasses (they’re kind of like sunglasses) and you won’t even notice that you’re wearing them.

I had fun with the 3D format but I know that the kids in the audience enjoyed it even more.  There’s a scene in the movie where small flowers are blown towards us.  I could see dozens of young children reaching out with their hands trying to grab one.  There’s another scene where a scary fish jumps out of the water and straight at the camera.  It came as quite a shock and many screams could be heard.

This adventure movie is based on the famous novel of the same title written by Jules Verne.  Professor Trevor Anderson (Fraser) and his nephew, Sean (Hutcherson), go on a trip to Iceland.  Trevor’s lab had picked up some strange readings from a seismic sensor located near a major volcano.  Escorted by a local guide named Hannah (Briem), they go in search of the sensor to find out more.

When they reach the top of the volcano, a freak storm hits.  They take cover in a mountain cave but find themselves trapped when an avalanche blocks the exit.  Their only option is descend further into the cave with the hope of finding another way out.  As the title suggests, it’s the start of what will be an amazing journey.  A fictional story is about to become a factual reality.

This film isn’t award worthy but it’s not too bad.  Brendan Fraser (The Mummy) is certainly a lot better than he was in the recent Mummy sequel.  Josh Hutcherson (Bridge To Terabithia) is great also and I think he’s currently the best actor in the business under the age of 18.

What I liked most about the film is that it doesn’t go too far with the whole action / fantasy element.  There’s still time for character development and there are a few nice scenes where the characters have to face their past and deal with their emotions.  This is a journey worth taking.