I wondered after reading the sole reviewer's rather negative and empty post about how the lack of "3D" would affect my viewing, but frankly I was not seeking a "3D thriller" and his review made no comment about the content! . I wasn't seeking a 3D adventure...rather an overview of a journey I'd like to take but may never get there. But I decided to trust my instincts and ignored the negative bought the film and am glad to report to you that I got exactly what I'd hoped for!....a beautifully filmed presentation of a faraway land. It gave me an overview of its history, culture, music, religion and geography. I thought it was a sublime "journey"..exotic and impressive. The only thing that could have made it better would have been to see it on a 25ft high IMAX screen to get a sense of the sweeping landscapes both in the desert, underwater and in the cities, especially in Makkah, but alas my city doesn't have an Imax.
I appreciated the history lesson and background on the Arabian precursor culture, of the Nabateans whose empire at the time was extremely successful by any standards, as providers to the Roman Empire of special spices and frankincense which provided enough capital to build monuments and structures that still awe the observer with their beauty and endurance.
-- views of their magnificent ruins carved into sandstone in hidden places in the desert was all new information to me-- though the scientific and scholarly history during the "golden age of Islam" which sparked the European renaissance of the 15th century was familiar, but overall it was well organized and integrated.
I also enjoyed the underwater sequences in the Red Sea, along with the aspects of the archaelogical excavations ongoing-- Juxtaposed with the unbelievably impressive high-rise and construction boom that has taken place over the last few decades - quite astonishing to see how much of the society has managed to remain steadfast despite these rapid changes of their country over a short period of time.
I especially was interested in the enormous investments their govt has made into higher education and scholarly endeavors at a time the world needs more intellectual pursuit and less militaristic targets.
All in all I'd say the film gave me pretty much what I've come to expect from an IMAX journey film...high quality, thoughtful exposition and a good deal of cultural information as well as the typical types of information a 'travelogue' film tends to offer. McGillivrey and Freeman rock! and Helen Mirren's voice polished it nicely. Hamzah Jamjoon, the film student from DePaul Univ Chicago was adorable & a personable 'guide' during the film making in his homeland.
If you prefer to take the road less traveled you will enjoy this journey.