Review: Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008 movie)

Brandon Fraser plays a geologist whose long-vanished brother was convinced that Verne’s novel about a descent down an Icelandic volcano had a factual basis. When the brother’s son comes to spend a few days with him, they discover a reason to go to Iceland themselves in an effort to clear up the mystery of their father/brother’s disappearance. The acquire an attractive female Icelandic guide and end up descending into a volcano.

It’s glaringly obviously that the film is aimed mainly at adolescent boys, who no doubt approved when the kid called dibs on the guide and ignored Fraser’s protests that he was too young for her. I suspect the target audience likewise enjoyed seeing the shot in which the camera looks up out of the sink as Fraser spits his mouthwash into it. (The film was originally released in 3D, though that’s not how I saw it.)

While there are some somber moments and some scenes of suspense, it’s not really meant to be taken seriously. Given that, it would be silly to complain about the preposterousness of a lot of scenes, so I won’t. It isn’t exactly a movie I’d recommend, but it’s roughly what I expected—that is, reasonably amusing despite its flaws, at least if you can put yourself in the mindset of a kid. So if you’re in need of some sf adventure that won’t overtax your brain, this isn’t a terrible choice.


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