Eric Brevig

Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008)

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Journey to the Center of the Earth
Image by Thomas Roche via Flickr

Same Planet. Different World.

director:  Eric Brevig

actors:  Brendan Frasier (Trevor Anderson) , Josh Hutcherson (Sean), Anita Briem (Hannah)

opening:  My heart still belongs to the somewhat dopey 1959 version with Gertrude the duck.  But this version sticks closer to the original novel.

plot:  A benignly mad volcanologist Anderson and his nephew Sean travel to Iceland to find the center of the earth.  In Iceland, they acquire their skeptical guide, Hannah to lead them to the amazing underground world.

my take:  It’s a pity that they do stick closer to the original because it was dry read as I recall.  They could have souped it up a bit.  It is a visually attractive film – the “ocean” voyage was particularly impressive.  There are a few caving jokes that made my caving friend laugh, so that’s a plus.  It’s also family friendly (some of the sexual tension between James Mason and Arlene Dahl is a bit weird nowadays).  Frasier and Briem cause any trouble in that way.  Sean and Trevor seem to fit better as would be adventurers – if the film hadn’t kowtowed to the special effects department and upped the two-guys-seriously-adventuring vibe, it might have worked.

tidbits:  My caving friend stated that the rappelling that Trevor does in the movie is very difficult and it was very impressive.

It was originally scripted by Paul Chart but he left the project which doomed it.

Conclusion:  It was OK, innocuous but not worth making.


Reel View link – negative

Roger Ebert link – indifferent link – positive

Flick Filosopher – link – positive

Christian Science Monitor – link – negative