Short version: Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D is a great film to take the kids to, or if you’re a fan of 3D – otherwise don’t bother.
Screen Rant reviews Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D
I was trying to come up with a metaphor for Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D, and the perfect one came to mind:
Journey 3D is like vanilla pudding.
It was OK, not really awful or anything – but not something you would go out of your way to watch if there was something better available.
Really, I don’t think I need to go into the plot of this film too deeply – it’s a well known story and everyone should be familiar with either the Jules Verne novel or the 1959 version of the film starring James Mason and Pat Boone. Here we have Brendan Fraser (as Trevor Anderson) playing a professor of geology whose brother has vanished 10 years ago. Things aren’t going well for him, with a smarmy department head who is going to close down his lab, which is based on the work of Trevor’s brother.
Trevor gets home to discover that his widowed sister-in-law is dropping of her son Sean (Josh Hutcherson) for 10 days while sher prepares things for their move to Canada (don’t ask, there’s no explanation). Trevor has no idea how to communicate with a 13 year old boy and predictably things get off to a sour start.
Eventually they end up in Iceland at the door of Hannah (Anita Briem) who acts as their guide to the mouth of an inactive volcano. As you know they of course end up plummeting to the “center” of the Earth and I don’t think I’m spoiling anything by saying they survive.
The film is all about the journey, aptly enough, and the 3D visual effects. We’ve got a T-Rex, giant Venus Flytraps, glowing hummingbirds, giant sea serpents and huge flying piranhas. Oh, and the obligatory mine scene with a roller coaster-like railroad track on which the transport carts ride.
There are a few scenes where they utilize “in your face” 3D with things jumping out of the screen towards the audience, and from the sound of it folks watching the movie seemed to enjoy it. Again, I’ll say that my favorite thing about 3D in films is the depth of field it gives scenes that adds a subtle “you are there” feeling to the movie.
The best actor in the film was young Josh, with Anita coming in second. Brendan Fraser was, well, Brendan Fraser.
So as I said above: If you’ve got kids 10 and under or if you’re a fan of 3D movies, go check it out. Otherwise take away the gimmick and you’re basically left with a cheesy made for TV movie.