Billed as "the first live-action digital 3D movie," this family drama is quite entertaining. The story starts with the premises of Jules Verne's famous science fiction novel and then creates a new adventure story. Brendan Fraser plays Trevor, a geology professor whose brother disappeared ten years ago in Iceland while on a research mission. When his teenage nephew Sean (Josh Hutcherson), who he hasn't seen in years, arrives for a ten-day visit, they find an old copy of Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth and believe they have discovered some new clues about the boy's father's mission scribbled in the margins. With the book in hand, Trevor and Sean head off to Iceland where they enlist the services of Hannah (Anita Briem), a pretty and perky local mountain guide.
After this trio fall into a cave, they begin a quest that takes them to a strange and wondrous world filled with surreal landscapes and odd creatures, many of which look just like the illustrations in Verne's book. They also encounter some life-threatening situations that require all their imagination and survival skills to get out of. This adventure enables Trevor and Sean to finally bond as a family.
Director Eric Brevig makes the most of their encounters with flying piranha, flow birds, and fierce dinosaurs, and the 3-D effects are realistic enough to make you occasionally dodge in your theatre seat.
Special DVD features include a commentary by Brendan Fraser and director Eric Brevig; "A World Within Our World": various historical "Hollow Earth Theories" about what lies beneath our planet's crust; "Being Josh": profiling 12-year old costar Josh Hutcherson; "How to Make a Dinosaur Drool"; and "Adventure at the Center of the Earth" challenge.