Journey to the Center of the Earth

Posted July 10, 2008 in Film

A third of the way into this Brendan Fraser-helmed popcorn flick, he, nephew Sean (Josh Hutcherson), and a tough as icebergs Icelandic mountain guide Hannah (Anita Briem, who looks as good sweaty as posh) hop into an abandoned mine car that takes us all on the ride of fast, mountainous zoom 3-D flicks were made for. Director Eric Brevig knows he’s not really shooting a Jules Verne mind-blower (though we do walk out knowing a sentence each about muscovite and magnesium); this is pure blockbuster, and it’s a fine specimen. Fraser stars as a scientist whose brother Max disappeared 11 years ago when Sean was two. Through an improbable chain of disasters (but who’s counting?), the fellows and their powerhouse hired guide plummet to, well, check the title. Every three minutes, Brevig and the quartet of writers ratchets the stakes against the trio ever surfacing from the earth’s core: there’s dinosaurs, carnivorous plants, carnivorous fish, and a sequence with floating magnetic rocks that’s pure excruciation. Every two he reminds us that we’re witnessing a 3-D spectacular with visual delights that range from a caress from a field of blowing dandelions to a slap in the face from a yo-yo. (Amy Nicholson)



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