Tuesday, July 15, 2008

JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH - a glorious popcorn B-movie

You're 13. You can't call dibs on the mountain guide.I've never read Jules Verne's "Journey to the Centre of the Earth" and I'm unlikely to in the future. I don't care if this movie is true to its source. I don't care that they spell centre the American way. I don't care that Brendan Fraser isn't Laurence Olivier. I don't care that the hot Icelandic mountain guide's name is a boy's name not a girl's name. I don't care that the rollercoaster ride through the mineshafts is lifted from INDY 2. I don't care that the dinosaurs look like cheap JURASSIC PARK knock-offs. I don't even care that the boy-hero (the kid from TERABITHIA) takes a cell-phone call in the freakin' centre of the earth!

I don't care because JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH is fun! Good, old-fashioned, B-movie, popcorn-tastic fun. A kid, his ludicrously buff scientist-uncle and a Scandy hiker fall through a volcano into the centre of the earth. It's a great little adventure. There are mean beasties and what the UK film censors like to call "mild peril". There are some laughs, some mild 3-D inspired surprises and the whole thing is as much fun as Thunder Mountain Rail Road crossed with the Indiana Jones ride at Universal Studios.

This film is just so good-natured and the minutes slip by so easily that I simply can't see what anyone has against it. Roll on the nicely set-up sequel!

JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH is on release in Brazil, Canada, Panama, Taiwan, the UK and the US. It opens later in July in France, Argentina, Mexico, Turkey, Israel and Thailand. It opens in August in Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, Poland, Portugal, and Venezuela. It opens in September in the Netherlands, Finland, Russia, Iceland, Australia, Greece and Norway.

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