Monkey Girl has to adjust to me going back to work. Its a bit hard for her. This week she was with a different friend everyday and it was tough for her. So I figured we needed a daughter/mommy day with a movie and lunch. The problem is she is ten. When we opened the listing it was full of R and PG-13 movies. Weve already seen Wall-E. All that was left was Journey to the Center of the Earth. Unfortunately I did not want to drive 50 miles away to see it in 3-D so we saw the regular edition.
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Prof. Trevor Anderson (Brendan Fraser) is having a bad day. He finds out that his lab is being closed. Hes been completing the work his brother who has been missing ten years started.
He heads home and realizes he has forgotten that he brothers son is coming for a ten day visit. Sean (Josh Hutcherson) is your stereotypical video game addicted 13 years old. Seans mom brings Trevor a box of his brothers stuff. Inside is his brothers copy of Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne. He finds notes that may tell him what happened to his brother.
Sean and Trevor head to Iceland and meet Hannah Ásgeirsson (Anita Briem) whose father, like Seans brother, believed that Jules Vernes stories were fact and not fiction. She takes them to the mountains to find a piece of scientific equipment left up there. From there happenstance leads to happenstance and the threesome find themselves on a journey to the center of the world.
First the good points. Wow, an Icelandic actress playing an Icelandic mountain guide. I do have to give them credit for that. Im so used to Brit actresses being foreign enough to be almost any other country.
Second, I did think it was an interesting idea instead of following the book as the script of the movie to instead going with what if the book could be a guide. It gave them more creativity and originality to help them write their script. Unfortunately they stopped there. If I had a script playbook, Im sure I could have checked off everything they did. Lets see
1. Teen who loves video games more than people comes out of shell on an adventure.
2. Scientist gets out into field and has an adventure.
3. Tough chick softens and falls in love with hero.
4. Were under the ground. We need to have a mine track system built like no one ever does so we can recreate mine shaft scene from Indiana Jones.
5. Cute native species of animal helps hero in one way or another.
6. Guide at first doesnt want to go but then does for money.
7. Arrogant senior scientist threatening to evict our hero scientist
The special effects werent really that great. Maybe that there are so many shows like Walking with Dinosaurs available on Discovery that I just expect more. The creatures in this show just seemed so fake. And from the previews and having read the book, there wasnt as many creatures as I thought there should be. You could tell when there were shots and effects that were supposed to wow the 3-D audience. It was just distracting for the 2-D audience.
Warningat the end of the movie Trevor hands Sean another Jules Verne book. We are all set to do a sequel
Plot holes were so large that I could have piloted the Titanic through them. Our ticking bomb to add suspense to the show was trying to get out of the center of the earth before the heat rose to 200 degrees Fahrenheit (yep, scientists and Icelanders dont use the metric system). Yeah, that would happen and nothing would happen to all the flora and fauna found underneath the earth.
They found the grave of Seans father/Trevors brother. Who buried him? If it was Hannahs dad, why didnt he share his discovery with the world?
As many times as they lost their backpacks, how did they keep track of their passports since they will need them to get back to the States?
I will say that there were two parts when the whole theatre (all ten of us) laughed at the film. I think we were the only two to stay for the credits. Everyone else seemed to really want to get out of there.
Monkey Girls Thoughts
I give this three and half stars. I loved it when he said Were still falling. I thought it was very very very very funny but there were some very scary parts. I would recommend it for seven year olds and up.
I should note that she did leave the theatre three times which to me means that she really didnt like it as much as other films. There were three points that she was trying to hide behind me and watch the film.
Mamma Mia! was in the theatre next to us. I do wish I could have escaped and watched it again. I just thought this was too much by the numbers. I feel that they cared more about the 3-D effects and forgot there was a movie.
My recommendation is that you wait for it to come out on video. Maybe there will be a way to watch it 3-D then. I would say this is only for hardcore sci-fi/fantasy fans. It will not make any converts to that genre. Just try to ignore the science errors!
I gave it three stars by averaging the 3 ½ Monkey gave it and the 2 stars I gave it.
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Movie Mood: Family Movie
Worst Part of this Film: Script