Review: 'Journey 2: The Mysterious Island' Will Tickle Your Mind, Body & Soul
A film like Journey 2: The Mysterious Island is meant for one thing and one thing only – fun! Clean to its core with themes of unity, family and love, it's an exciting adventure tale.
Sprinkled with charismatic characters and good looks (Dwanye "The Rock" Johnson), high humor (Luis Guzman), wit and wisdom (Michael Caine), impulsive teen issues (Josh Hutcherson), and last but not least a little eye-candy (Vanessa Hudgens), the film provides just about anything and everything for audiences of all ages.
Young Sean Anderson (Hutcherson) receives a coded distress signal from a mysterious island where no island should exist. It's a place with strange life forms, mountains of gold, deadly volcanoes, and more than one astonishing secret.
Unable to stop him from going, Sean's new stepfather, Hank (Johnson), joins the quest. Together with a clumsy helicopter pilot (Guzman) and his beautiful, strong-willed daughter (Hudgens), they set out to find the island, rescue its lone inhabitant (Caine) and escape before seismic shockwaves force the island under the sea and bury its treasures forever.
Of all the 3D films I’ve seen during the last couple of years, this one stands out because all of its effects were in fact made for 3D purposes. It’s not to say the film can't be enjoyed in 2D, but 3D audiences won’t be ripped off. Considering ticket prices these days, it’s pretty shameful when I see and/or hear studios slapping films with 3D to not only pique interest but also to make a buck. Kudos and mucho respecto to Warner Bros. for making a legitimate 3D film.
Journey 2 is more than just effects, as casting is pretty cool. Films like this wouldn’t have worked with just anyone. Hutcherson is the franchise’s returning champion (Journey To The Center Of The Earth), while the handful of fresh faces, styles and talent help keep it alive.
Despite what many may think, Dwayne Johnson simply works! He has a habit of being a bright spot in films. He's generally likeable on screen and has a certain charisma combined with physical presence that allows him to do kiddie flicks just as well as action movies. If he continues to improve as an actor (I think he still needs a little work), then I don't see why he shouldn't have a lengthy career in Hollywood. Having played a father before, his role as Hank is interesting because we really get to see the struggle between stepfather and stepson.
We’ve seen Luis Guzman many times. For the most part, his roles seem to be constricted to just a goofy guy with smarts and the ability to keep a scene moving, but there’s more to this man than simply comedic ability. He is one of the most underrated Hollywood actors. He plays his usual role, but it's flipped and switched to a different angle.
We all know Michael Caine’s a power house with his English accent, smarts and relaxed persona. Then there's Vanessa Hudgens, who I think has a lot of talent other than the High School Musical franchise and her really cool role in Sucker Punch.
The characters' chemistry blended well in this beautifully shot film with lots of magical elements. Whether spotting cute little elephants or riding giant bees, to confronting the most unexpected, adventurous events during their journey, this film has a little bit for everyone to enjoy. With an undertone of adult-themed issues, lots of animated action and gestures for the kids, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island is a ride that’ll tickle your mind, body and soul.
Grade: B / Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy / Rated: PG / Run Time: 1 Hr. 34 Min.
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Josh Hutcherson, Luis Guzman, Vanessa Hudgens, Michael Caine
Director: Brad Peyton
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