Monday, February 2, 2009

Trevor Anderson (Brendan Fraser) is a Bostonian volcanologist whose 13-year-old nephew, Sean (Josh Hutcherson), is supposed to spend ten days with him. Trevor has forgotten that Sean is coming until he receives several messages from Sean's mother. When Sean's mother drops him off, she leaves Trevor with a box of items that belonged to Max, Trevor's brother and Sean's father, who disappeared 10 years before. Sean suddenly takes interest in what Trevor has to say after he tells him about his father, whom he never really had a chance to know. Trevor discovers in the box Max's old baseball glove, a yo-yo, and the novel Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne. Inside the book Trevor finds notes written by his late brother. Trevor goes to his laboratory to find out more about the notes. There he realizes that he must go to Iceland to investigate for himself.

He intends to have Sean flown back to Canada but relents at Sean's protest and brings Sean along for the adventure. They start by looking for another volcanologist and find his daughter Hanna (portrayed by Anita Briem), the scientist having died years earlier. It turns out that he and Trevor's brother Max were Vernians, a small group who believe the works of Jules Verne to be fact. Hannah offers to help them climb up to the Stag Mountain which has suddenly started sending data again. While hiking the mountain, a lightning storm forces the three into a cave that collapses, leaving them trapped. The group then explores the cave looking for an exit, and they find it is an abandoned mine which was closed after an accident that killed 81 people. They then venture deep into the mine until they reach the end of the tunnels and enter to the bottom of a volcanic tube which is full of precious gems. As they are admiring the gems they realize the floor they're standing on is actually muscovite, a very thin rock formation. Due to their weight, the muscovite breaks and the group falls (for about 2 minutes) thousands of miles through the volcanic tube to the center of the earth, surviving only because the volcanic tube eventually turns into something like a "water slide" which drops them into a lake. There they find that the center of the earth is actually another world but in the same planet, "a world within our world", and they set to explore the place.

Along the way, they find evidence that someone was there 100 years previous. Trevor remarks that the instruments found are Lindenbrook's (a character from the book), hinting that his views of the events of the book being real are changing. They find some of Max's (Trevor's brother and Sean's father) things as well. While Trevor and Sean are going through what they've found, Hannah wanders off and unfortunately discovers Max's body. They bury him on the beach of the underground ocean. Trevor reads a letter to Sean found in Max's journal; they say their goodbyes and embrace.

Trevor figures that they must find a geyser that can send them to the surface, which is located on the other side of the underground ocean, or otherwise the temperature will raise up to 200 degrees, making it impossible to survive. They must reach the geyser in 48 hours or all of the water to create the geyser will have evaporated. They also figure that they must get out before the temperature rises past 135 degrees, which is the limit that the human body can withstand. They begin by crossing the underground ocean, and then the two adults become separated from Sean. Sean's guide is now a little bird who has been present since the trio entered the Center, and it takes him towards the river. After he goes through a path of floating magnetic rocks, he encounters a Tyrannosaurus and Trevor - who desperately is searching for him - finds him. The beast pursues him until he discovers that the ground beneath them is muscovite, the same type as earlier. The Tyrannosaurus falls through the muscovite, creates a massive hole and dies in the process. When they arrive at the geyser, it is all dried up. But they find water on the other side of a wall.

Trevor uses a flare to ignite the magnesium in the wall and causes a geyser to shoot them through Mount Vesuvius in Italy. When they destroy the vineyard of an Italian man, Sean gives him a diamond which he found earlier. Trevor sees that he has many more in his backpack, and he uses them to fund his brother's laboratory. Throughout the adventure, Hannah and Trevor gradually become close and even share a kiss. The film ends on the final day of Sean's visit with Trevor (and now Hannah). As he is leaving their new home, which was purchased with some of the diamonds Sean took from the cave, Trevor hands Sean a copy of the book Atlantis: The Antediluvian World by Ignatius L. Donnelly, suggesting they could maybe hang out during Sean's Christmas break, alluding to a possible sequel


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