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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
PG
Cast
Brendan Fraser
Josh Hutcherson
Anita Briem.
Directors
Eric Brevig.
Screenwriters
Running Time
92 minutes

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Journey To The Centre Of The Earth 3D
Because there’s nothing as fun as a 3D T-Rex


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Plot
Scientist Trevor Anderson (Brendan Fraser) and his nephew Sean (Josh Hutcherson) travel to Iceland, following Sean’s long-missing father. With guide Hannah (Anita Briem), they are trapped in a cave and forced to follow Jules Verne’s perilous route into the centre of the Earth.


Review
Journey To The Centre Of The Earth 3D

Like all good 3D films, this take on Jules Verne’s adventure novel gives you a few minutes to get your eye in. Journey bombards the audience with a dream sequence dinosaur attack and litters the pre-adventure reel of set-up with make-you-gasp gambits. In a 3D cinema first, mouthwash is spat in our faces, but veterans of stereoscop-sploitation will know what to expect when a yo-yo is produced.


There’s something sweet and childish about the 3D gimmick, and this is notable among recent movies for not being ashamed of its contrivances - the whole point is to stick trilobite antennae in your face, take you on a Temple of Doom-style underground rollercoaster ride or have you plummet miles with the screaming heroes. This is the first 3D film to combine live-action and CGI to any great extent (Beowulf was all CG), and - though early trailers looked murky - the effect is often startlingly good. The fully-realised, magical cavern vistas feel like substantial physical environments but also capture that movie magic associated with really fine matte paintings.


This is rooted in a pre-Indy, pre-Star Wars tradition of fantastical fun. This respectfully positions itself as a sequel to Verne’s yarn as well as a throwback: just as junior hero Sean learns he can have fun with a yo-yo as well as his PlayStation, this cutting-edge big-screen entertainment keeps telling the audience to go read a book. That alone is enough to give the film a glow.


Brendan Fraser gives an open-hearted, adventurous performance as a genuinely daring scientist: it’s funny and touching when his companions are overcome to find valuable jewels but he is as excited by ordinary rocks (‘diamonds … rubies … feldspar!’). Josh Hutcherson, of Bridge to Terabithia, has the usual arc from sulky tween to fully-engaged adventurer, but is miraculously non-icky and especially fine in an outstanding sequence where he crosses a chasm. And genuine Icelander Anita Briem more than justifies the script’s description of her as ‘best mountain guide ever’. The script is an excuse to plunge from one peril to the next, but has a deft touch, even in its one unexpected moment of tragedy, which makes the film more coherent and satisfying than many another summer blockbusters.


Verdict
Fraser on form, 3D dinosaurs, geology lessons, phosphorecent hummingbirds, killer flying fish, theme park rides, Icelandic babe - what’s not to like? It skews young, but is everything an 8-12 year-old could want. Older siblings and parents will have nothing to complain about either.


Reviewed by Kim Newman

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Journey To The Centre Of The Earth 3D
Empire Star Rating

Funny, Full Of Adventure And Fun.

I only rented this one out on 2D but I'm thinking of asking it for Christmas so I can see the 3D verison. But it still looks good without 3D because it looks so real and amazing. The CGI is awesome and the landscapes of Iceland at the begining are beautiful. Brendan Fraser is a classic in this, showing off his charm and his witty humour. He was a excellent choice in this as well as Josh Hutcherson (my goodness, how's he grown!) who was brilliant in Bridge To Terabithia and newcomer Anita Briem. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by joanna likes films at 09:35, 09 November 2008 | Report This Post


Journey To The Centre Of The Earth 3D

It is a very good family film, with something for everyone to enjoy. The 3D works extremely well, as the T-Rex manages to look quite convincing and is great in 3 dimensions. Brendan Fraser does, as Empire have stated, gives an excellent performance as Trevor. It's a good length at 92 minutes, as there isn't really much else to put in the film. Apart from a few cheesy moments ("Now we're even" made me cringe), Journey To The Centre Of The Earth 3D is a great film, and although the 3D pe... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Indiana James at 13:19, 04 August 2008 | Report This Post


I'll have to disagree, Empire.

I expected more about this movie. And me final verdict is: IT TOTALLY SUCKS! WHAT THE HELL? FOUR STARS? COME ON! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by nc_jj at 21:27, 26 July 2008 | Report This Post


4 Stars = A Good Review

I really did enjoy this film and I think that empire was right in it's 4 star review. Having seen the film in 3D I am probebly going to enjoy it more. But there is enough action and entertainment that I will be buying the DVD.   Good review Empire. Totally Agree....   ....You were a bit harsh with Mamma Mia though? ... More

Posted by adam_wilde at 22:38, 23 July 2008 | Report This Post


RE: Journey To The Centre Of The Earth 3D

This film is so bad its good, me and my friends were laughing the whole way through it...this film should'nt get a bad review, if you go see a film with brendan fraser in, you should know what you're getting yourself in for. ... More

Posted by Maniac_Cop at 15:14, 22 July 2008 | Report This Post


Good Family Fun - Were you expecting something else?

the malcontents and misanthropes who have been whinging about this film. Empire's review is a little more positive and generous than many, but it is not out on a limb. 'Journey' is an engaging film, provides some excellent action pieces, and three central characters - who are pretty much the sole humans on screen - who are sympathetic and well cast. There's no doubt the 3D adds considerably, and makes this more of an event movie, but even without that it's worth taking the kids to see. The aud... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by john oldmixon at 23:09, 19 July 2008 | Report This Post


Good Family Fun - Were you expecting something else?

Ignore the malcontents and misanthropes who have been whinging about this film. Empire's review is a little more positive and generous than many, but it is not out on a limb. 'Journey' is an engaging film, provides some excellent action pieces, and three central characters - who are pretty much the sole humans on screen - who are sympathetic and well cast. There's no doubt the 3D adds considerably, and makes this more of an event movie, but even without that it's worth taking the kids to see.... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by john oldmixon at 23:07, 19 July 2008 | Report This Post


3D-3 Stars

Journey works largely as a showcase for 3D remixes of other movies’ such as Jurrassic park and Indy set-pieces. The new tech works, the plotting is briskbut we’re still waiting for a great 3D film. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by moviemaniac2 at 12:47, 18 July 2008 | Report This Post


Dreadful

I went to see this on the strength of the 3d and Empires 4 stars. I wasnt expecting a 4 star film but beleived the 3d would make up for any lack of quality. The film though was shocking, as bad as ive seen on the cinema, right up there with Highlander 2. Some of the 3d was good, it gave good depth but nothing really worked when coming out of the screen. I gave up the will to watch when the bird despairingly shook his head. On a postive note i havent laughed as much in the cinema for ages, as it ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by evertonmark at 23:29, 14 July 2008 | Report This Post


OH MY GOOD GOD!

Empire... what are you playing at. I can no longer rely on you to give a balanced review of anything anymore! This film was 3 stars at very best. 1 star without the 3D. Seriously, are you guys on the payroll or what? I think you need some new staff who are in touch with reality. Whoever wrote this should go and work for the government, thats how out of touch they are! And I still don't think ruddy Ratatouille was worth of 5 stars! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Beefylad at 20:30, 14 July 2008 | Report This Post


RE: Journey To The Centre Of The Earth 3D

I came on the forum to complain about Empire's ludicrous four stars but now I see many many people have beaten me to it. It's not an terrible film by any means but it is lacking in any real summer blockbuster magic or comedy. The CGI landscapes make the whole thing look like a computer game andthe whole thing feels underdeveloped somehow, like it's lacking enough monsters and set-pieces. Also I really shouldn't quibble with the science on a film like this but you are  'thousands of mi... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Davechoc at 20:02, 14 July 2008 | Report This Post


Empire wake up!

Can someone explain to me what the point of showing this film in 3D was for? I can't find any point! The 3D experience was rubbish, as was the film. Whoopie! A giant finger pointing into the audience. Actually, this film might have been better in non-3D; however, possibly not. A load of sentimental rubbish!!!! Brendan Fraser must be the most type cast individual in history! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by spiewak34ff at 18:38, 14 July 2008 | Report This Post


Empire has finally lost the plot

Right thats it! YOU Mr Empire Magazine have been at the Jazz pipe or something FOUR stars for this. you gave Iron Man three the Hulk three (easy four star films) WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU!. Prince Caspian three Speed Racer three (barely 2 stars apiece). You used to be the touchstone of sensible measured reviews (overlooking the Attack of the Clones five star fiasco) for many many years but recently....Waiter? oh Waiter? reality check table two please..... ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by ilander66 at 15:37, 14 July 2008 | Report This Post


RE:

I saw the 3-D version, and that's really the only way to watch the film. Granted the 3-D is just a gimmick but is is used well enough here to warrant a viewing. Without it this would be a very average 2 star movie. Nowhere near as impressive as Beowulf 3-D though, but just about scrapes by with 3 stars. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by skeletonjack at 16:41, 13 July 2008 | Report This Post


im gonna make a film which will be about me taking a dump for two hours......im sure it will get a good review in empire,at least four stars......ive stopped buying the mag and i only visit this site now because its free and i cant wait to see the next shit review from this once great mag...... ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by brewtimer at 16:10, 13 July 2008 | Report This Post


im gonna make a film which will be about me taking a dump for two hours......im sure it will get a good review in empire,at least four stars......ive stopped buying the mag and i only visit this site now because its free and i cant wait to see the next shit review from this once great mag...... ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by brewtimer at 16:10, 13 July 2008 | Report This Post


RE: why bother??

Best use of 3D i've seen so far, does the job and doesn't outstay its welcome. The highlight though is the moutain guide Anita Briem. Good cheesy family fun. 6/10 ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Starscream at 15:52, 13 July 2008 | Report This Post


why bother??

Kick me in the goolies and call me predictable BUT.... Brendan Fraser - the man who will be in a movie nowadays just so he can play at being Indiana Jones. Big mine cart chase (with jump over missing section of track) - Temple of Doom. Hero is a bookish guy who just happens to be an adventurer too. I'm all for kids reading books though - well done on that score, but no, I won't be dashing along to see this. CGI has done lots of imagination in and it's an easy way out for people to make outl... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by leroythemasochist at 11:44, 13 July 2008 | Report This Post


Brendan's Back :(

Saw the 2D version on Fri and thought it was positively crap!!? Even by the standards of a kids movie!!!!? Brendan Frasier was...well...Brendan Frasier again!? (inevitable, cheesy one liners). And the story was diabolical...not really much happened!!? I'm not a fan of the nastily childish special effects, like in Spy Kids and stuff, and I just think a lot more could have been done with a Journey to the Centre of the Earth. Journey = EPIC ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Dingo_35 at 22:42, 12 July 2008 | Report This Post


Turgid

Lacking any real fun or particular thrills. See the trailer and save your money. 3D effects wasted or did the cameras break half way through. 4 stars? Was there a full page advert for it in Empire this month. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by sjmlondon at 22:37, 12 July 2008 | Report This Post


RE: i agree

Before I start I request that my post isnt associated with the two pillocks above. I'm not one for berating Empires star ratings (i've been an avid reader for 18 years & still love the mag as much as ever) as every film is there to be liked/disliked as a matter of personal opinions. We can use the stars as guides but it is very much up to us to decide for ourselves... ...having said that, since the turn of the year Empires ratings tend to be getting further removed from ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Bumfluff at 21:42, 12 July 2008 | Report This Post


i agree

yes, i think empire are really starting to take the piss with there dishing out of 4 stars to any old shit..........get a fucking grip for Christ sakes! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by kev smarty at 17:00, 12 July 2008 | Report This Post


Oh please

That's it 4 stars!!!! I've been with Empire since issue 5 but after what I've witnessed this year with reviews you guys are certainly taking back handers. Sorry no integrity what so ever. You can stuff your subscription you know where.... ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Fordster at 12:53, 12 July 2008 | Report This Post


2D odd but still fun...

...well if your a 12 year old (or like me, still act like one). Watched the 2D version the other night and for a kids film the only problems I had with it was the scenes you could tell were put in simply to have a bit of 3D in there when there was no T-Rex to be chased by. These were mostly simply odd camera movements and stuff like the Yo-yo that without the 3D made it feel like it was going to have a greater use further into the film - I was expecting it to be used as a weapon or something. Bu... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by bloxham49 at 01:02, 12 July 2008 | Report This Post


2D odd but still fun...

...well if your a 12 year old (or like me, still act like one). Watched the 2D version the other night and for a kids film the only problems I had with it was the scenes you could tell were put in simply to have a bit of 3D in there when there was no T-Rex to be chased by. These were mostly simply odd camera movements and stuff like the Yo-yo that without the 3D made it feel like it was going to have a greater use further into the film - I was expecting it to be used as a weapon or something. Bu... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by bloxham49 at 00:55, 12 July 2008 | Report This Post


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