Reviewed on 12/29/2008...
Journey to the Center of the Earth is directed by an Oscar winning visual effects artist, and it shows. The movie looks amazing. And that's about it. The writing is plodding, predictible and as stale as the air in an underground cave.
The actors do their best to bring charm and freshness to the film, but its like performing CPR on a day-old corpse. The characters say and do things that a baboon with two brain cells to rub together wouldn't do, just to further the abysmal screenwriting and set the movie up for director Eric Brevig's strong point; the visual effects.
And Brevig does a good job with the visuals, the underground terrarium is a sci-fi wonderland, although the dinosaurs look a little lame. But if there's one thing that's been proved over and over, its that gorgeous CGI makes a good video game, but not a good movie.
I couldn't help comparing this to Brendan Fraser's 10-year-old action adventure, The Mummy. The CGI in The Mummy was cutting edge for its time, and it still looks fine. But the writing is witty, the characters are engaging, the whole thing is livelier and more memorable because someone put some effort into the storytelling.
Ultimately, there's more depth in a movie about a reanimated 3000-year-old corpse than in The Journey to the Center of the Earth.
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