Professor Trevor Anderson (Brendan Fraser) teaches earth sciences at the university and heads the Center of Volcanic Activity. Max Anderson, Trevor's brother, built the monitoring system and placed the units around the world 10 years earlier. For some unknown reason, Max did not return, leaving behind a wife and son, Sean (Josh Hutcherson). Sean's mother leaves the teenager at Trevor's house to get some quality time with his uncle. They look at Max's copy of Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne and find a secret code.
Back at the monitoring center Trevor compares the volcanic activity numbers and finds that they are exactly the same as the ones in the book. Trevor and Sean fly to Iceland to check one of the units and to see if they can find some information about where Max went. Trevor hires a beautiful mountain guide, Hannah (Anita Briem), to take them up the volcano. During an electrical storm on the volcano, they get trapped in an abandoned mine. They search for a way out of the mine and discover a wall filled with large diamonds.
Unfortunately, the floor they are standing on can't hold their weight, and they fall down a volcano tube for miles and miles until they reach the center of the earth. Once there, they encounter prehistoric glow birds, flying piranha, man-eating plants, and T-Rex dinosaurs that have been extinct for millions of years.
They find that they are seeing the same things that were printed in the Jules Verne book. This gave them hope that someone was able to escape from the center of the earth and return to the surface.
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