Journey to the Center of the Earth
Over the last several years, actor Brendan Fraser has seen his career go from megahit star to relative unknown. However, this summer he is looking to gain back his reputation as he stars in two films that fit the genre that he does best … action.
First up to the plate is Journey to the Center of the Earth, an action film that uses the premises of Jules Verne's timely classic while forming its own distinctive present day plot to please those of the new generation. And if the plot change wasn't enough, the film looks to break down barriers and technologically move itself to the front of the pack as the entire film is presented in 3D.
As the film starts off, audience members are introduced to Trevor Anderson, an unpopular college professor who has spent the last ten years trying to keep the theory that his brother, Max, died for was a true possibility. When word comes that his lab is going to be closed down and used for storage space; Anderson couldn't be more frustrated. But all that information quickly falls by the wayside when he returns home to discover that his nephew Sean has arrived.
Unfamiliar with the art of parenting, Trevor uses their commonality of Max to break the ice with Sean. And through this common bond the two are able connect and form their own bond on their own terms. That bond, and many other emotions, run wild throughout the film as the two men embark on an impossible impromptu expedition to discover what exactly happened to Max and to see if his thoughts on the existence of a 'center of the Earth' were true.
There adventure takes them across mountains, within a cave, down a long tunnel and into a world that could only be described as impeccable science fiction. Along the way the guys seek advice from an attractive tour guide whose father shared the same passion as Max, and together the three take on an adventure that you have to see to believe.
Leading the small cast of three is Brendan Fraser, a mature actor who is spending the summer rejuvenating his diminishing career. And though he gives a decent performance as the overly smart and at times socially awkward Trevor Anderson, it is a role and a character that we have already seen from Fraser in the Mummy franchise.
From the first moments that he graces the screen, audience members forget that they are watching Trevor Anderson and are immediately taken back a few years as they look and see the witty and mistake prone Richard O'Connell. His actions, voice and personality are almost exactly the same, shedding a mountain of doubt on the true talent that lies within Fraser's bones.
However, even though it was the same character, it is a character that Fraser is comfortable with and good at playing. Always knowing his next move, Fraser delivers his lines perfectly, creating a sense of confidence and assurance in himself that very few actors are able to project from the screen. Though you must keep in mind that most actors are working with a new character and a new personality, having to cope with the constant rediscovery of oneself and not able to rely on the same delivery for every film.
Surrounding Fraser on his journey is Josh Hutcherson and Anita Brem as Sean Anderson and Hannah Ásgeirsson respectively. And though neither of them gives truly remarkable performance, they worked well with Fraser, never outshining him and never allowing him to get too out of control.
But in a movie like this, the acting and story are really secondary to the special effects that are captured on the screen, and thankfully the guys behind the 3D spectacle did their job and created some entertaining segments to fill the minds of the young ones in the audience.
With that said, I do have to admit that though the special effects were fun and different, they were also a little too predictable for the older crowd. It just seemed like you could tell where the story was heading simply because it would make for an interesting 3D scene. Instead of concentrating on the plot and deriving great special effects from it, the film seemed to work around the 3D style, creating dilemmas that were all too easily overcome, simply at the stake of the unique viewing opportunity.
Because of this, I strongly recommend that you see this film in its 3D form. Sure the story is interesting, but it is predictable as well. And with so much emphasis on this 'new' technology, you can't have to catch a glimpse at the first of what many believe to be the future in all cinema.