Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
3D + DVD + Blu-ray
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Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (3D Blu-ray+Blu-ray)
The follow-up to the 2008 hit! The new journey begins when young adventurer Sean (Josh Hutcherson) receives a coded distress signal from a mysterious island where no island should exist—a place of strange life forms, mountains of gold, deadly volcanoes, and more than one astonishing secret. Unable to stop him from going, Sean’s new stepfather (Dwayne Johnson) joins the quest. Together with a helicopter pilot (Luis Guzman) and his beautiful, strong-willed daughter (Vanessa Hudgens), they set out to find the island, rescue its lone inhabitant and escape before seismic shockwaves force the island under the sea and bury its treasures forever.]]>
It's tough being a teenage boy, especially when your mom's just remarried, you've moved to a new town and school, and your grandfather's gone missing. Sean (Josh Hutcherson) is angry and resentful, especially toward his mom's new husband Hank (Dwayne Johnson), and he's acting out in ways that just might land him in jail. Hank has been patiently trying to establish a rapport with Sean, even smoothing things over with local law enforcement officials. But Sean rebukes his every attempt at friendship, until he discovers that Hank might be useful in decoding a satellite message he's recently intercepted. The two learn that the message alludes to a mystery Jules Verne wrote about in his 1874 science fiction novel The Mysterious Island, a story that's fascinated Sean and his missing grandfather for years. Suddenly Sean and Hank find themselves in an uneasy alliance, and the two somehow convince Sean's mom that they need to head to Palau in pursuit of an island that, in all probability, doesn't exist. The two survive a stormy trip on a decrepit helicopter piloted by Gabato (Luis Guzmán) and his daughter Kailani (Vanessa Hudgens) to land on a mysterious Lilliputian island where big creatures are small, small creatures are big, and surprises lurk around every corner. It turns out that Sean's grandfather Alexander (Michael Caine) was the one who summoned them to the island, but his plans to announce their discovery to the world go awry when the group notices that the island is in danger of sinking--with all of them on it. So begins a desperate scramble to find a way off the island. This film is part adventure and part rite of passage, and it's full of juvenile humor and absurd coincidence. While all films require viewers to suspend some sense of disbelief, it's an almost Herculean effort in this movie: Hank can translate Morse code, is familiar with the same Jules Verne books as his new wife's son, knows how to interpret the tectonic signs of continental displacement and soil liquefaction, and can set a dislocated ankle in the middle of nowhere. As for the juvenile humor, it ranges from Hank's unlikely talent of washing away pain with a song and a ukulele to his advice that impressing women is as easy as performing the pectoral "Pec Pop of Love." While Dwayne Johnson has a history of pulling off the fantastical and ridiculous in films like Race to Witch Mountain, Tooth Fairy, and The Game Plan, this time it all feels just a bit too shallow and far-fetched. (Ages 7 and older) --Tami Horiuchi
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In the time since his first adventures, Sean (Josh Hutcherson, the only returning cast member) has become a Jules Vern fanatic. Which is why he immediate recognizes a code he's gotten made of character names from Jules Vern books. Along with his step-father Hank (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson), he deciphers it and discovers it gives clues to The Mysterious Island. Sean is convinced that it came from his grandfather.
Eventually, he and Hank set out to find the island. They hire Gabato (Luis Guzman) and his daughter Kailani (Vanessa Hudgens) to fly them out there on a helicopter. Will they find Sean's grandfather (Michael Caine)? And can they get off the island again?
Okay, let's be perfectly honest here. This is a kid's movie. Yes, it has action and fantasy and plenty of comedy. But kids are the target audience. Now, that's definitely not a bad thing in my book. I fully recognize this is not "great" cinema. It's designed to be a fun movie, and I enjoyed it as such.
The story is not terribly original, although I got so caught up in it that I really didn't care. There is plenty of action to keep you engaged even if you know how it is going to end.
And I can't forget the comedy. The packed theater I saw the movie with laughed multiple times, and it sounded to me like the adults were laughing as much as the kids.
The film is filled with special effects as well, and they worked. While I knew what I was seeing couldn't be real, I believed it. While the movie was released in 3D, I didn't see it that way, so I can't comment on how that looked.
And the acting worked, too. It's not outstanding, but it gets the job done without pulling you out of the film. Plus we learn that Dwayne Johnson has a pretty decent singing voice.
There were some flaws to the film. There was a certain level of cheese, especially most of the times the film tried to do anything serious. And on that note, the interpersonal relationships were so predictable it was a bit annoying.
Then there's Luis Guzman. I'm not sure if it was him or how his character was written, but I found him more annoying than funny. I would have preferred the movie without his character.
I realize that I will be in the minority for enjoying Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, but I found it to be entertaining. And since that's all it was really aiming for, I think it succeeded.