): Eric Brevig
's Journey to the Center of the Earth would play great at a drive-in, if drive-ins still existed.
Characters wave tape measures at the screen for no reason other than to make an audience bob and weave. Goofy Brendan Fraser
spits toothpaste in our general direction. Fanged fish leap into our virtual laps. When a yo-yo springs from Josh Hutcherson
's hands, we jump in our seats.
It's recommended you journey to a theater with 3-D capabilities if you're taking the family to see Journey. Though available everywhere in the standard, everyday, two-dimensional presentation (read: flat as a board and about as interesting), Journey makes excellent use of modern 3-D technology and actually harkens back to campy science-fiction of the 1950s. Article continues below
Geologist Trevor Anderson (Fraser) and his nephew Sean (Hutcherson) follow clues left in a tattered copy of Jules Verne's novel Journey to the Center of the Earth that they hope will lead them to Sean's missing father, Max (Jean Michael Pare). Their mission transports them to Iceland, where adorable mountain climber Hannah (Anita Briem
) pilots them to a volcanic tube that carries them... well, you've read the title, so you get the idea.
Journey makes about as much sense as a National Treasure film and moves as rapidly. For a film that gleefully apes Steven Spielberg
-- with rampaging dinosaurs, hurtling mine cars, and a distracting father-son complex -- Journey actually equals this summer's Indiana Jones sequel on the assembly line of escalating dangers.
The rattling calamity is obvious, sure, but surprisingly effective. On normal screens, though, Journey will lose its added visual dimension (pun intended), and subtract most of its fun.