Being in quarantine has certainly put a hold on many of our plans that require being outside and gathering with lots of people. The stay-at-home order prompted us to cancel all of our travel plans ranging from out-of-state trips, hiking excursions, music festivals, and much more. Many of us are left wondering when will it be safe to continue with our planned activities.
Until that time comes, we must keep our adventurous spirit alive. There is nothing like fun adventure/exploration movies to keep us motivated to go outside once things return to normal. Below, I listed seven of my favorite adventure and exploration movies that are sure to bring out the adventurous explorer in all of us and maybe even give us some exciting ideas to look into once quarantine ends.
- “Journey to the Center of the Earth” (2008)
Starring the recognizable Brendan Fraser and “The Hunger Games” heartthrob, Josh Hutcherson, this movie is about an expedition to the center of the Earth, loosely based on the book of the same name by Jules Verne. Fraser plays Hutcherson’s on-screen uncle as the movie follows their exciting adventure led by their tour guide deep into a cavern. As problems arise, their only escape route leads them to strange terrains, unique animals, and an arduous fight to stay alive. It’s an entertaining movie that leaves us thinking about the possibilities of what the center of the Earth could look like. Overall, it’s a great adventure movie.
- “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” (2008)
While I recommend watching all four of the Indiana Jones movies because they are fun to watch, I will be talking about the fourth movie in this article. Taking place around the 1950s, the movie follows college professor and archaeologist, Indiana Jones, portrayed by Harrison Ford, in another adventure in search of a long lost artifact. In this movie, his quest is in search of the legendary Crystal Skull of Akator in Peru. Aside from his trusty hat and whip, he is assisted by Mutt (Shia LaBeouf) in his adventure, battling evil Soviet agents who also want the skull, but for wicked personal gain. This movie will certainly leave us all desiring to be an adventurous archaeologist and with a catchy theme song stuck in our heads.
- “Jurassic Park” (1993)
If you have gone on the Universal Studios water ride based on this movie but haven’t actually seen it, go see it now! Directed by the famous Steven Spielburg, Jurassic Park is about a world where dinosaurs have been genetically created from prehistoric DNA in the modern era. Wealthy businessman John Hammond, constructs a theme park on an island in which the dinosaurs will be the main attractions. Hammond invites paleontologists Alan Grant (Sam Neill), Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern), and mathematician Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) to tour the park, along with Hammond’s two young grandchildren. As majestic as dinosaurs are, they are just as dangerous, and this tour group finds out the hard way when they are hunted by the escaped predators. The movie is a thrill ride as the characters explore the island’s jungle in hopes of getting back to the park alive.
- “Onward” (2020)
Following two teenage brothers, Ian (Tom Holland) and Barley (Chris Platt), this Disney movie shows us both the difficulties and the fun that can be had when going on an adventure with your sibling. Taking place in fantasy land, the two elf brothers, upon discovering that their late father was a wizard, embark on a quest to find the required items for a magical spell that will bring their father back for one day. As the boy’s mom starts a quest of her own to look for her sons, the brothers encounter obstacles and face magical creatures as they race against time to complete the spell. It is a lighthearted movie illustrating the bonding roadtrip of two siblings, inspiring enough that we might want to do the same.
- “Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief” (2010)
If you are a fan of greek mythology, this is certainly a must for your movie watch-list. Percy Jackson, played by Logan Lerman, wasan average high school student until he discovers that he is the son of the Greek god Poseidon and is being blamed for a capital crime. Upon this discovery, he joins a training campground where he learns to control his newfound powers and meets other teens that are the children of deities. Percy, along with friends Annabeth (Alexandra Daddario) and Grover (Brandon Jackson), embark on an adventure to clear his name and rescue his kidnapped mother from the underworld god, Hades. This movie also encapsulates the theme of “road trip,” as the characters stop in different locations all while running into mythical obstacles.
- “National Treasure” (2004)
As a history major I could not make this movie list without including this movie. Historian Ben Gates (Nicolas Cage) searches for a long lost treasure dating back to the American Revolution. In order to find the treasure, he must get ahold of the Declaration of Independence, but he’s not the only one looking. With computer expert Riley (Justin Bartha) and National Archives worker Abigail (Diane Kruger) by his side, Ben follows a series of clues in the East Coast that bring him closer to the treasure. Of course, no journey is complete without some hardships on the way, and in this case, Ben must dodge the FBI and his ex-partner turned thug, who is also looking for the treasure. Even if history is not your favorite subject, I guarantee you won’t want to miss a second of this movie.
- “Guardians of the Galaxy” (2014)
Being the huge Marvel fanatic that I am, I had a hard time choosing just one movie that was adventure/exploration. But of course, “Guardians of the Galaxy” is a story about the ultimate journey that takes the characters all over the galaxy. Taking place in outer space, Star Lord, played by Chris Pratt, is a space adventurer collecting trinkets from planets which he then trades. When he steals a powerful orb wanted by an evil overlord named Ronan (Lee Pace), he gets in trouble,landing him in jail. Once there, he teams up with some unlikely allies: the fierce Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), a genetically engineered racoon named Rocket (Bradley Cooper), and a tree-like creature named Groot (Vin Diesel) in order to escape and retrieve the orb from Ronan, who plans on destroying planets. In the end, the plotline and the comedy make the journey in the movie one we want to join as well.
While there are many, many other movies I wanted to list, I hope you enjoy my list of care-free adventure and exploration movies and are inclined to watch one of them. Even though we can’t go on adventures right now, we should keep our adventurous spirit alive and keep on planning to explore.