Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes
Luke Y. Thompson,
As a 2-D movie, or inevitable DVD, it probably fails. As a 3-D experience, though, it rocks.
New York Times:
If Journey to the Center of the Earth is not a ride, then what is it? One thing it may not be, quite, is a movie.
J. R. Jones,
Eric Brevig, making his feature directing debut after a long career as a visual effects supervisor, lurches from one CG set piece to the next, though he's helped along by Fraser's easy comic touch.
The absence of star charisma in Journey denies the audience some focus in a movie that keeps changing backdrops and is ultimately no more than the sum of its wild-eyed parts.
Like its early predecessors, it's a nominally fun trip, but it's tissue-thin and instantly forgettable.
The real star here is the pair of 3-D glasses you're handed when you walk into the theater. With them, Journey is a kick (if not much more).
The gimmickry can't lift the boats of a threadbare storyline. What the proselytizers and the investors forget is that if the characters and emotions aren't three-dimensional, the rest of the movie will always look flat.
I can't tell you how this film looks in 2-D, which is how the majority of the nation's customers will partake of it. I saw it in 3-D. I liked it. It's dopey, but I liked it.
Christian Science Monitor:
Much of Journey plays like a thinner version of an Indiana Jones movie a" a series not noted for its stoutness to begin with.
With crisp images and depth that makes you feel you could reach out and stick your hand into the middle of the action, the movie projected in digital 3-D form actually makes that theme-park ride kind of fun.
Wandering around the earth's stalactite-dripped core exerts a primal appeal even in a dumb kiddie joyride like this one.
Director Eric Brevig knows he's not really shooting a Jules Verne mind-blower; this is pure blockbuster, and it's a fine specimen.
Journey may be an utterly weightless movie, but in the end it floats rather nicely.
Most of the movie, directed by Eric Brevig, is as daft, outlandish, and speedy as it needs to be, and, for all its newfangled effects, touchingly old-fashioned in its reverence for the Jules Verne novel that inspired it.
It has a just-rebellious-enough kid, just-goofy-enough hero, a cute competent heroine and plenty of bumper-car chase scenes and house-of-shocks surprises.
New York Post:
Unusual for this genre, the script doesn't insult the audience's intelligence, and it mercifully soft-pedals its message about the virtues of reading.
It's old-fashioned family-friendly B-movie cheese, served up in this Brendan Fraser/Jules Verne action epic for kids.
In generating what amounts to a 90-minute theme park ride, the filmmakers lost track of the need to tell a compelling story to supplement the eye candy.
Denver Rocky Mountain News:
A popcorn movie that delivers precisely what it promises. The dialogue is tepid and the outcome is preordained, but it moves at the brisk pace of a carnival ride, leaving you breathless and ready for another spin.
This is a fairly bad movie, and yet at the same time maybe about as good as it could be.
A movie that's faithful to an idea, and to a sense of adventure, more than to a specific work.
Globe and Mail:
A virtual theme-park simulation and possibly a milestone of immersive entertainment.
If 3D is indeed the future of movies, we're going to need something more substantial than Journey to the Center of the Earth to convince us.
If, at this moment, the child next to you grabs your arm and hollers "Duck!", the movie will have been worth the ticket price.
Flat and predictable, though the visuals are often striking.
Probably has the highest screams-per-capita ratio in the history of action-adventure pics, and a better thrill-per-minute deal than most.
Journey to the Center of the Earth is terrific family entertainment, an action comedy on a par with Night at the Museum and National Treasure.