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Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008) Movie Review Summary

Actors: Brendan Fraser, Josh Hutcherson, Anita Briem

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008)

A scientist finds a cave that leads to a journey deep below the earth's surface encountering dinosaurs and other adventures in a fantastic hidden land. Brendan Fraser plays the lead character, who is the scientist named Trevor Anderson. He studies geological changes in the earth. He is about to lose his research laboratory because of lack of funding and because he has not made any significant discoveries in the past ten years. His brother was also scientist, who disappeared in an expedition ten years prior and was never seen again. The wife of his brother asks Trevor to take care of her son Sean Anderson (played by Josh Hutcherson) while she is out of town. While Sean is visiting, Trevor explains what he is studying and that he tracks the remaining three operating geo-sensors placed around the world for seismic activity. Sean notices there are four sensors reporting activity on the computer screen. They notice these are the exact same conditions as reported in the hand-written notes made Sean's father in margins of the Jules Verne science fiction book called "Journey to the Center of the Earth", which Trevor found after the man disappeared. This leads them to go to Iceland to find the location of the fourth sensor that has suddenly re-activated after being inactive for ten years.

In Iceland they meet Hannah Asgeirsson (played by Anita Briem). She tells them the story of her father who recently passed and that he was a "Vernian", which is a person that believes the science fiction works of the author Jules Verne were actually true accounts, not fiction. She agrees, if she will be paid, to take them to the site of the sensor. It is a long hike to get there. When they arrive the weather suddenly turns bad. A lightning storm causes multiple strikes near them. They run for shelter in a nearby cave. An earth tremor causes the rocks at the entrance of the cave to fall down blocking the entrance with tons of material. They have no choice but to go deeper into the cave to try to find a way out. As they climb deeper they find they are in an abandoned mine. The get in the mining cars and go for a wild ride down the tracks almost falling to their death when the tracks run out, but jumping out just in time before they crash at the end of the tracks. They discover an area that is a volcanic tube, which is full of precious stones such as rubies, emeralds and diamonds the size of golf-balls. Sean collects some of the diamonds. They don't realize, until it is too late, they are standing on a very thin fragile surface, which breaks from their weight causing them to fall for many miles down into the earth. Instead of ending abruptly at the bottom, the walls become wet and the water helps them slow their descent enough so that when they plunge into a pool of water at the bottom, they are not killed or injured from the fall. They swim up from under the water to find they are on the shores of a massive underground lake. They discover a base left behind by scientists that were there before, some of them a hundred years prior. They also find evidence of writings by Sean's father in a journal about his experiences there. They find the grave of Sean's father on the shore of the lake. Sean's father writes in his journal how he wanted to find a way back to the surface to see his son for his birthday but never found a way out. He also writes in his journal that he speculates there is a possible geyser on the opposite side of the shore that may lead to the surface.

Trevor notices the heat is rising. Trevor realizes that the volcanic activity will super heat the air where they are trapped underground to such a temperature that it will kill them and this is probably what killed Sean's father many years ago. They have to escape before the heat kills them. They decide to follow the suggestions of Sean's father in the journal. They build a makeshift raft, equip it will a kite-like sail and set sail across the lake. In the middle of the lake, they are attacked by flying biting fish and giant water serpents that jump out of the water eating the fish. The wind starts to blow harder. Sean tries to keep the sail from breaking away from the raft, but it breaks free and carries him off alone in the air, separating him from Trevor and Hannah.   They all make it to the other shore but are far apart from each other. Hannah tells Trevor that Sean is clever and he will meet them at the river that leads to the geyser which is their escape route they have planned from a map drawn by Sean's father in his journal. Trevor and Hannah each save each other from death more than once. This causes them to fall in love with each other. Trevor splits up with Hannah, telling her to go ahead to the river, while he goes back to look for Sean. Sean befriends a glowing luminescent bird that leads him in the correct direction towards the escape. Sean crosses some magnetic rocks that are levitating in the air over a deep open space. Then he is attacked by a giant dinosaur. Sean escapes the dinosaur and re-unites with Trevor. By the time Trevor and Sean reach the river, the water is boiling. Hannah shows up riding in half of the gigantic skull of a dinosaur she has turned into a boat.

They make it to the geyser tube, but the water has already been blown up to the surface. Trevor lights the walls on fire which are full of flammable magnesium. The walls collapse allowing more water to enter the geyser tube which is rapidly heated by the lava below. The dinosaur skull containing them is carried upwards at great speed for many miles. The fly out of the top of Mt. Vesuvious in Italy. They slide down the mountainside destroying part of a wine vineyard. An old Italian man is angry from the destruction. Sean takes a large diamond from his knapsack to pay the man for the damages. Trevor and Hannah are surprised Sean has them. In fact, Sean collected a big bag full as samples, which are worth a fortune. It is enough money to pay for a new research lab for Trevor and where Sean will help him as his assistant during school holidays. Sean agrees with Trevor not to tell Sean's mom all the details about what they did because it will worry her. Sean is packing up to go home and the luminescent bird pops out of his backpack, which he is says is his pet. He calls to it, but it flies away enjoying its new found freedom on the surface.
Best part of story, including ending: It is a nice modernization of the classic Jules Verne story.

Best scene in story: I like the scene when they discover the precious jewels in the volcanic tube because everyone likes to find this kind of treasure.

Opinion about the main character: I think it is funny that the scientist Trevor is not really the one that makes all the discoveries. The key insights, which help them the most, are all made by the young boy Sean which is very comedic, since Trevor is supposed to be the great scientist.

The review of this Movie prepared by Willi Vision a Level 31 Creepy Stalker Barn Owl scholar
When the brother of a volcano expert named Trevor mysteriously disappears, he is forced to watch after his brother's teenage son, Sean. Trevor takes Sean to investigate unusual volcanic activity in Iceland, where they meet Hannah, who was following in the work of her dead father. Her father and Max both believed that Jules Verne's books were not fiction but rooted in reality. When a lightning storm forces them to hide in a cave, the cave collapses on the inside, sending them to the center of the Earth, which appears to be an entirely different planet of its own, where the sciences of the Earth's surface no longer apply. They try and find their way back home, when they encounter some evidence of human existence-- it seems that Verne was right, relaying factual experiences of past explorers. Later, they find Trevor's brother, dead from dehydration. After burying him, Trevor has them hunt for a geyser, which should come from this underground world and shoot up to the surface, giving them a chance to catch a ride home somehow. Yet when Sean is blown away in a sudden gust of wind, Trevor is left with a new mission: find his nephew. Sean finds himself being pursued by a giant dinosaur, and when Trevor finds Sean, he too finds himself in danger of being swallowed by the beast. When Hannah saves them, sailing past in a makeshift boat composed on a dinosaur skull, they seek out the geyser necessary to make their return home. Best part of story, including ending: Children will really like this movie: it's fast-paced, cartoony, exciting without being scary, and full of humor.

Best scene in story: Anyone who is a sucker for giant dinosaur action should love the sequence in which Sean and Trevor are chased down by a massive one.

Opinion about the main character: Trevor is a fairly rote hero, with a basic moral compass and strong intelligence. Brendan Fraser is a fun guy to have in the lead in these types of films.

The review of this Movie prepared by R.W. Hainline a Level 29 Superb Fruit-Dove scholar





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Script Analysis of Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008)

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Actual chase scenes or violence 55%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzle 20%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 25% **Fantasy or Science Fiction?**    -   science fiction story    -   fantasy story on present day Earth Explore/1st contact    -   Yes Explore plotlet:    -   exploring center of the earth Giant monster movie?    -   Yes Kind of monster    -   Dinosaur(s) Family Relations    -   Yes

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   scientist Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American)

Setting

Earth setting:    -   20th century (1970's to Present) Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes Water?    -   Yes Forests?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Tone of movie    -   upbeat Kinds of F/X    -   Things that change shape/morph    -   exotic alien landscape Is this movie based on a    -   book

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