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I was hoping that this would be mindless adventurous trip but sitting through JOURNEY 2: THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND was tough because its compiling a bunch of fantasy legends into one movie is as disastrous as League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen. I’d call this movie, JOURNEY 2: THE RINDONKULOUS ISLAND because everything about it is beyond silly to the point of unbearable. And their attempt to make you forget that Brendan Fraser was part of the previous film fails. This is sad because I did enjoy Journey To The Center Of The Earth which felt like a roller coaster ride to me, this sequel however is just a Dwayne Johnson-fest in 3D-CG overdose…
The new journey begins when young adventurer Sean (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 (Johnson) joins the quest. Together with a helicopter pilot (Guzman) and his beautiful, strong-willed daughter (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.
Let’s see. .there’s Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, Jonathan Swift’s Gilliver’s Travels, Jules Verne’s own 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and of course Verne’s The Mysterious Island, did I miss anything?! o and the ending suggests another familiar book hinting yet another adventure but in space. Michael Caine looks like Indiana Jones if Indy was 80 years old and delusional, the romance element of Josh Hutcherson and Vanessa Hudgens is anything but convincing. Hutcherson can’t fully play that whole act of not knowing what to say in front of a beautiful girl. To tell you the truth, there’s nothing about Hudgens’ character that I truly like, she’s just a pretty face and a tease and you’re not quite sure if she wants to be taken as a tough girl or a damsel in distress. Luis Guzman as the comic relief can only tickle the easily amused.
Dwayne Johnson steals the show every single time and it’s not necessarily a good thing because the idea of making Johnson capable of doing just about anything is a testament to this story’s lazy, uninspired nature. They’ll either throw it at Johnson or simply go on chase sequence mode.
I admit, the island looks spectacular, whoever came up with the design deserves a bit of a credit. And part of me did geek out at the film’s design of the most famous fictional submarine of all time, Nautilus but once again, Dwayne Johnson has to swoop in and jumpstart the submarine. Vulnerability goes out the window.
The whole guardian-son bonding theme runs very thin. There’s a sense of abandonment and neglect that Josh’s character experiences and is pissed off about, typical angry teen issued, good effort on the film’s part but not strong enough. The competition or the banter between Dwayne Johnson and Michael Caine kinda gets ruined by the fact that Caine can act, Johnson on the other hand, not so much.
The peck poppin’ was funny in trailers/previews but when we’re forced to be reminded of it again and again in the film, it made us want to get a shotgun and kill the so-called peck pop of love.
Some of the CG FX especially the giant bees and giant lizard look cool, I give ‘em that. The giant animals in our world become small on that island, and the small animals in our world become gigantic on that island. The threat and the danger rely heavily on the race against time, to get out of the island before it sinks into the bottom of the pacific ocean. But I think the 3D was a more effective gimmick in Journey To The Center Of The Earth which had a more thrilling sense of urgency.
I think families with kids would consider JOURNEY 2: THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND a fun action adventure. The rest of us who know an actual decent action adventure when we see one would respond otherwise.
GRADE: 1 out of 5
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