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Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D

Cinema review The film's vapid 3D effects soon had me wishing I'd brought some rotten vegetables to throw back at the screen.
Brendan Fraser (left) makes for a lacklustre star, especially when compared to James Mason in the original 1959 adaptation.
Brendan Fraser (left) makes for a lacklustre star, especially when compared to James Mason in the original 1959 adaptation.

Trumpeting the considerable advances made in 3D technology is the latest way that ­Hollywood studios are trying to dupe audiences into accepting brain-dead blockbusters with little ambition to be anything other than a series of explosions featuring a plot that you could write on the back of a cinema ticket. The rent-a-hero Brendan Fraser plays Trevor Anderson who ventures to Iceland with his nephew Sean (Josh Hutcherson) in an effort to discover whether Jules Verne's classic text should be put in the non-fiction section of book shops. Along the way they pick up a Scandinavian guide, Hannah (Anita Briem), and discover how Trevor's brother (Sean's dad) disappeared a decade ago. Props such as a yo-yo are brought in just to throw at the audience to leave them agog at the technical innovation of 3D but it soon had me wishing I'd brought some rotten vegetables to throw back at the screen. The rookie director Erik Brevig has an armful of credits working in the visual effects department but he shows absolutely no skill at directing actors, the star of The Mummy, Fraser, is surprising poor especially when compared to James Mason's performance in the 1959 adaptation of Verne's book. Here's hoping the novelty of wearing shades in the dark soon wears off.

Updated: August 6, 2008 04:00 AM

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