Whenever asked what he did for fun or thrills in the old days, Mel Brooksâ€™ Thousand-Year-O ld Man always answered, â€œWe had falling!â€ The latest version of Journey to the Center of the Earth boasts a doozie of a fall, one that would certainly rival any available in days of yore. The movie also features man-eating plants, vicious piranhas, a hungry T-Rex, a wild mine-shaft ride and Brendan Fraser acting like Dudley Do-Right imitating a professor of geology. Viewers of the 3D format are treated to such exciting additions as Fraser spitting on them and being drooled on by a dinosaur. Good times. Because I saw only the 2D version, I missed out on a lot of the fun, of course. But even without 3D, some scenes in this movie caused a couple of audience members to squeal with excitement at the screening I attended. And, during the falling sequence and the roller-coasteri sh mine shaft ride, I couldnâ€™t help feeling like I was on a thrilling amusement park ride. If other elements of the film matched the quality of these action pieces, Iâ€™d be a happier camper. Unfortunately, the most farfetched parts of the film are more believable than the plot, which tries to update Jules Verneâ€™s classic by suggesting his book was REAL, not fiction. Frase r (The Mummy) portrays Trevor Anderson, a scientist still mourning the loss of his older brother Max while on a geological expedition. When Trevorâ€™s nephew Sean (Josh Hutcherson) comes to visit him, these two -- who donâ€™t seem too happy about being thrown together -- hurry off to Iceland because of a series of seismic activities which Trevor believes can lead them to clues about Max. With the help of Hannah (Anita Briem), a mountain guide, they find -- you guessed it -- the awesome Center of the Earth. But how to get back home? They canâ€™t click their heels three times and simply wish it, even though that would make as much sense as what they end up doing. Still, I enjoyed watching these three characters work together to survive. As a result of their struggles, Trevor and Sean develop a true uncle-nephew bond, and a romance begins to bloom between Trevor and Hannah. Acting honors here go to Hutcherson (Bridge to Terabithia). This talented teen gets better with every film. He projects just the right rebellious attitude for Sean, but he also succeeds in putting a humorous spin to his character which adds to the appeal of his portrayal. Briem (from TVâ€™s The Tudors) looks gorgeous and holds her own against all the busy special effects. Fraser, however, disappointed me with a rather unfocused performance. Granted, heâ€™s required to do a great deal of yelling rather than acting in this movie, which may have put him off his game. Or perhaps, as usual, Iâ€™m expecting too much from Fraser, who used to be one of my favorite actors. Despit e its flaws, Journey to the Center of the Earth should please youngsters and fans of action/adventur e movies. I hope it motivates some of them to read Jules Verneâ€™s book. Now that would be much more than just a thrill-ride experience.