While the 1959 movie Journey To The Center Of The Earth did tip its hat to the classic Jules Verne story of the same name, this adventure is said to be more of a sequel to the book, as volcanologist Trevor (Fraser) and his nephew Sean (Hutcherson) head to Iceland to track down Sean’s dad, who disappeared 10 years before. Sheltering from a storm on a mountain, they stumble into a cave that collapses, sending them hurtling down into the earth and then plopping them out into a lake deep in the centre of the world. It’s a world filled with strange creatures including prehistoric piranha, dinosaurs and giant lizards, but they haven’t got time to admire the scenery as Trevor works out they have only 48 hours to get back home before the temperature will rise to unbearable levels.
Released in 3D at cinemas (which made the fall to the centre of the earth look extra-impressive), this is a romp aimed at even younger members of the family. It’s fun, exciting, suspenseful and entertaining (although grown-ups may mutter that some bits will remind them of other similar adventure movies, including the Indiana Jones saga), and good old fashioned fun. Fraser is his enjoyably goofy self, Hutcherson is capable as the kid trying to find out what happened to his dad, and they are surrounded by some neat special effects as they run, tumble and scurry their way out of trouble.
Is Journey To The Center Of The Earth (2008) suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
Very young children may be frightened when Trevor and Sean are in danger, and when Sean becomes separated from his uncle. Most children over the age of 6 should not be bothered by it as the action is never too tense.