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17 October 2009
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  • Journey To The Centre Of The Earth (3D) Review

Journey To The Centre Of The Earth (3D) (PG)

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Review byMatthew Turner11/07/2008

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 92 mins

Entertaining fantasy adventure with engaging characters and superb special effects, but the filmmakers miss several great opportunities along the way.

What's it all about?
While on a scientific expedition in Iceland, professor Trevor Anderson (Brendan Fraser), his 13-year-old nephew Sean (Josh Hutcherson) and their beautiful local guide Hannah (Anita Briem) become trapped in a cave while investigating seismic readings. Their only escape is to go deeper into the depths of the Earth, but when they accidentally fall through a rock floor, they are plunged into a hidden world, hundreds of miles beneath the surface of the earth, just like in - gasp! - Jules Verne's Journey to the Centre of the Earth.

Indeed, the world turns out to be exactly as described in Verne's novel and they're soon dodging man-eating plants, flying piranhas and dinosaurs as they try to find their way back to the surface.

The Good
The cast are superb, creating likeable characters that we instantly warm to – Fraser and Hutcherson spark off each other particularly well and their gradual bonding is nicely done. Similarly, the underground world is beautifully designed, while the 3D effects are excellent and provide several good moments.

The Bad
Unfortunately, the film has clearly been tailored towards a family audience, so there are very few scary moments, and no one's ever really in any danger. Similarly, the romance angle is remarkably chaste and there's an awful moment where Sean gets a phone call, despite being thousands of miles underground.

The biggest problem is that the 3D effects don't really live up to their early promise – for example, there's an insect at the beginning whose 3D feelers caused squeals at the child-friendly press screening, so it's a shame that there's no 3D creepy-crawly attack later on. It also seems that certain scenes have been cut out – for example, Sean is shown practising with a yo-yo early on but it's never seen again.

Worth seeing?
This is an entertaining, well acted adventure flick with great special effects, but it would have been a lot better without its family-friendly certificate.

Film Trailer

Journey To The Centre Of The Earth (3D) (PG)
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