Brendan Fraser as Professor Trevor Anderson, takes time off from his Mummy battling to descend into a deep volcanic cavern to search for his lost brother, Max Anderson (Jean Michel Pare). He is joined by his nephew (Josh Hutcherson) and local Icelandic guide, an agile Anita Briem, searching for a secret code in Max's copy of "Journey to the Center of the Earth" by Jules Verne.
It's all about placing the three adventurers in cliff hanging situations, chased by large dinosaur like creatures as they fall and climb the trail that Max has apparently put in place for those who might follow his adventure. All of this is enjoyable to watch, but the 3D projections make all the difference in the level of enjoyment and fun watching what is obviously a throw-back to films with a simple premise and are just there to enjoy.
With the feel of a forties Saturday afternoon serial, we are treated to a wild ride on old mining carts which reminds us of Indiana Jones, which was written to remind us of the old cliff-hangers. So here we have a twist back to the original beginning style of this simple adventure which is far more for kids or those who enjoy being kids at the movies.
As the trio move deeper and deeper into the center of the Earth they observe some stunning scenery, like water falls and a giant sea in the center, they are befriended by a flock of glowing birds which remind us of Tinker-Bell. One leaves the others and remains as a friendly guide communicating all the way up to the escape hatch.
We observe two phoneme here: one - which is opposite of what Spielberg has done to bring "limited" adventure films to the A screen - this one carries us back to the earlier days of films when kids headed to the movies on a Saturday afternoon knowing no adults would be in the audience - the program was for kids. The second is the use of the 3D gimmick which at times makes us experience a roller-coaster ride which out having to place ourselves on a tall steel structure and pay a high price admission.
Are the polished films better, sure but this so-called limited production is exciting, fun and enjoyable to watch as a remembrance of films a family of all ages can enjoy.