Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Journey to the Centre of the Earth 3D: Movie Review

Journey to the Centre of the Earth 3D: Movie Review

Rating: 6/10
Cast: Brendan Fraser, Anita Briem, Josh Hutcherson
Director: Eric Brevig
Gimmicks.
They're always difficult to incorporate into films - and sometimes, even harder to fashion a film around.
So when Journey to the Centre of the Earth purported to be the world's first live action adventure in 3-D, I have to admit to having had a slightly bad feeling about what was to come.
Particularly having suffered the horror of Jaws 3D and the Creature from the Black Lagoon years ago...
While there is the amusement factor of seeing a cinema packed with everyone wearing 3-D glasses, you quickly realise that the novelty wears off and you have to sit there for around 90 minutes with oversize glasses on, which at times make you feel like Dame Edna Everage.
Journey to the Centre of the Earth is, obviously, based on the Jules Verne book of the same name - this time, Brendan Fraser (The Mummy 3) stars as Professor Trevor Anderson, a vulcanologist.
After realising his missing brother may have been onto something, he along with his nephew and a mountain guide, set out to see if there really is a world under the surface (as Jules Verne revealed in his book) - and to try and rescue his long lost sibling.
And that's it for the plot - basically the film will annoy anyone who wants a sensibly plotted, logical and sensitive discussion about how life underground could be sustained for millions of years.
Anyone who wants to see a series of encounters with cool 3D effects stretched over 90 minutes will be extremely happy.
Journey to the Centre of the Earth isn't a bad film- it's a pleasant and brainless enough diversion; and there is something amusing and endearing about seeing kids (of all ages) try to touch the effects springing off the screen.
Brendan Fraser is likeable enough as the lead and seems to have no problem playing second fiddle to what is essentially an effects driven cinematic foray.
Some of the 3D in the film is done simply for effect - such as a kid using a yo-yo, using a tape measure - but the occasions when the 3D is saved for actual sequences, it can be exceptionally well done (such as a scene on raft when the gang is attacked by flying piranha type fish) and actually quite frightening.
I don't know if Journey to the Centre of the Earth will spark a renaissance of 3D films (there is a brief mention during the film of heading to Atlantis as a potential sequel) but as a reminder of what can be done with the genre, it's not a bad entry - and will certainly give the kids something to do during the holidays.

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