Friday, June 24, 2011

Lock Me Up!: Journey to the Center of the Earth (2-D)

This was bound to happen sooner or later!  The Asylum made their version of the Jules Verne tale in 2008 to coincide with the release of a bigger budget, 3-D version (see yesterday's review).  Is their version good?  Obviously, the answer is 'no.'  Is their version related to the theatrical release?  Again, the answer is obviously 'no.'  The bigger question is this- is their version remotely-related to the classic tale?  No.  Not even in the slightest way.  Seriously, the only thing that they have in common is a trip to the center of the Earth.  The 'star' of the film is Greg Evigan, who you would probably know from Tekwar.  If not, you're most people.  To see what this mess is all about, read on.  Take a trip with me as we go on a...
There are no tunnels, chasms or the like in this film.  No, in this film, the government is experimenting with a device that will teleport people behind enemy lines.  They decide to test it with an all-lady commando unit, why not?  One thing to note is that one of the women in the group is the hunter's daughter from Alien vs. Hunter, marking Re-Used Actor/Location #1 of the film.  #2 shows up quickly as the General comes in to check out the project and he's...Zacarias Mossaui from The 9-11 Commission Report!  Get him- he's a terrorist, not a General!  Seriously though, that's random!  The group prepares to test out the device, so cue silly glow effect.  They end a generic field.  Wait- this is the same place from The Land That Time Forgot, marking Re-Used Actor/Location #3.  This place also served as some of the locations in King of the Lost World, but I won't throw it in as #4...yet.
Our heroines run into some trouble pretty quickly as they learn that they are in the center of the Earth.  In the land- which apparently has sunlight- at the Earth's core, there is a T-Rex.  Logic?  I mean, I get that it's in the story too, but why?  This thing takes out one of the women as the others flee.  There is also lava here, which actually kind of makes sense.  Back on the surface of the Earth, Evigan and company figure out what happened.  The signal for teleportation got stuck halfway on its trip, trapping the group in the center of the Earth.  That's pretty silly, but I guess I can't fault you for that.  I can, however, fault you for the latter half of the plot involving a woman scientist (Alien vs Hunter's Dedee Pfeiffer aka Re-Used Actor/Location#5) coming in with a device for boring to the center of the Earth.  Here's a question- why were we teleporting people again?  You could argue that it's easier, I suppose, but the movie proves that theory wrong!  By the way, there is a giant spider- with Alien vs Hunter's body model (#6) - minus the person part- running across the same fields from Alien vs Hunter (#7).  Why didn't they work in the barn too?!?
It's a race against time!  Come on, time!  Go time!  In all seriousness, Evigan and Pfeiffer race towards the center in their boring machine, which is a pretty apt name for the plot!  Ha ha ha- forced irony.  In the center, our heroines manage to take out the spiders, but at the loss of more life.  It appears that the blond girl from Alien vs Hunter is dead thanks to some flash editing, but she isn't.  They manage to save her as Evigan launches their ship out of a volcano.  That would be cool in any other movie, you know.  The group reunites and rushes to the teleporter, which will work when Evigan puts the missing part in it.  It sure is lucky that you brought it, since your vehicle was kind of a one-shot deal!  More spiders show up, including a super-duper one (which is substituting for the giant ape, I guess) as the group rushes for the exit.  The blond girl dies from her spider bites, rendering her rescue entirely-pointless.  The teleporter activates and they escape.  The day is for the baby spider that hitched a ride.  The End.
Please toss me down a chasm!  The plot of this movie is a silly mess.  Why is this titled like it has anything to do with the Jules Verne tale?  It's about an errant teleporter that sends people to what also happens to be the center of the Earth.  It's like making a film where a kid gets trapped in Jurassic Park and his parents go in to save him.  Oh right- that was Jurassic Park III.  Where was I?  Oh right- this stupid movie.  The bottom line is that this is a cheap, cash-in.  You could argue that the Brendan Fraser movie is a cash-in for a profitable series of films based on the Verne novel, but it's not cheap!  This film re-uses locations, actors and just generally feels cheap.  A lot of people have made generic, uninspired films based on Verne's novel.  This just happens to be one of them...only made by The Asylum.  Do I recommend this?  Kind of, but only to the kind of people who can endure this Direct-to-DVD crap.  Take us home, General Terrorist...
Next up, I take a look at the remakes and assorted films of Romero's Dead series.  First up, a film Written, Produced, Directed by and Starring a guy who was in Night of the Living Dead- just because.  Stay tuned...

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