Journey to the Center of the Earth Reviews
(Full review coming soon - with better wording probably)
The concept is pretty interesting, but Journey of the Center of the Earth lacks the thrilling visuals and great acting it should have.
The updating of its source material and setting are respectable and within the spirit of the novel, but Journey to the Center of the Earth lacks originality in its themes.
Journey to the Centre of the Earth is more of a novelty film because it builds most of its memorable visual imagery on the basis of 3D effects which are no longer viewable on regular DVD. Although the visual effects are good in a campy and cartoony way, a lot of the time it seems solely so that the film can succeed in 3D, and when you're watching it on DVD it is easier to see that while less easy to enjoy it. The film forsakes logical storytelling and a premise that is anything but thin, yet it doesn't really matter because the entire purpose of watching Journey to the Centre of the Earth is to see a colourful and cartoony adventure of a film. But it is clearly a film meant to be enjoyed in 4D, in an Imax theatre. On DVD it feels simply like a big budget TV movie or like a novelty. So Journey to the Centre of the Earth is a film which is a lot better in the context of its original release than anything else.
The entire film Journey to the Centre of the Earth is built on visual elements, and it milks these for all that it's worth. It takes seeing the film on DVD to realise that they have a breaking point that doesn't take too long to reach. Once the adventure theme takes off, the scenery is nice for a while but eventually it becomes very repetitive. And the fact that the film is entirely built on it doesn't really help. So Journey to the Centre of the Earth has no real story to it and the script isn't genius, but all the importance lies in the kind of adventure that viewers feel from watching it. For me, I didn't really get any which was disappointing and I just sat there staring at a bunch of actors in front of a green screen for 93 minutes as they journeyed through a modern example of a camp film. But the problem is that there is only so far that camp value can take you, and Journey to the Centre of the Earth it pushes the limits pretty hard. It would be easy for young and childish viewers to find entertainment with it, but like I said, its excess of reliance on visual effects can only go so far before it ends up as anything more than a novelty that is missing the Imax experience, the 3D effects and the smell-o-vision.
Journey to the Centre of the Earth does have good visual effects to it though and for a film which is entirely green screened it does manage to achieve some certain sense of childish entertainment value, and the amount of colour in the film is appealing. Plus, it is all put against the backdrop of a strongly composed musical score which has a real adventure feel to it and moves at a quick and climactic pace.
Essentially, all of the entertainment value in Journey to the Centre of the Earth comes from how much viewers can appreciate the style of the film. It doesn't have the same effect that it would have in Imax theatres or on the general cinematic screen in general, but it does have some colour and some fun to it. But still, on DVD it is easier to see the problems with it and not feel the true effect of it as intended by director. My review is of the home media version of the film and I'm sure it would be a fun experience to see Journey to the Centre of the Earth in Imax with all of the added benefits of 3D and booming sound effects, but the scale of the film and the effect of it are decreased when it is limited to the TV screen, and so Journey to the Centre of the Earth is not a film which is likely to survive the battle of age.
Brendan Frasier is the perfect kind of cheesy adventure hero that So Journey to the Centre of the Earth needs. As he interacts with the visual elements of the film very organically, he runs and jumps through a magical land with confidence and heroism, and he delivers his lines with a great comic edge. As he proved before in The Mummy, Brendan Frasier makes a great action hero in cheesy adventure films, and Journey to the Centre of the Earth is another example of that because his energy is infectious and he is dedicated to giving a powerful line delivery which makes it hard to dislike him. Brendan Frasier is the best part about so Journey to the Centre of the Earth, and he makes it all a fun venture.
And Josh Hutcherson gives a decent performance. Although at the start it seems like he is portraying the stereotypical obnoxious teenage boy stereotype, he soon develops into a friendly and likable character with a thirst for adventure. And for better or for worse, Josh Hutcherson gets the part with ease by delivering his lines with confidence and interacting with the universe with the same kind of dedication that Brendan Frasier has. Josh Hutcherson is a good presence in Journey to the Centre of the Earth.
Anita Briem also gives a decent supporting effort.
But despite its cast, a few fun moments and the quality of the visual elements in the film, Journey to the Centre of the Earth is nothing more than a novelty played at big screen theatres that forsakes storytelling or originality for 3D effects that can no longer be enjoyed on the standard home media format. I can't say the same for its theatrical release or watching it on a 3D TV, but I can be certain that it doesn't have any surprises in stock for you.