Journey 2 Review and Featurette

I caught an early screening of Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, and I have to say I enjoyed myself. Granted I was with a 5 year-old and she enjoyed herself but even without her delightful giggles the movie wasn't half bad.

There was a Jurassic Park feel with wonderment, the lush landscape, the giant lizard, eggs, and the kooky old man with his big dreams. But this was no Jurassic Park. It was a whole lot of fun, and the Rock, I mean, Dwayne Johnson played up the embarassing stepdad bit, but it was a little too forced, there were too many bad special effects (not that there weren't good ones, but the bad ones really stuck out), and where the hell was Uncle Trevor (Brendan Fraser)? He couldn't free up a second for a cameo? They couldn't mention him at all?

So the movie picks up with Sean (Josh Hutcherson) running from the cops. He's doing the whole teenage rebellion thing, breaking and entering, and crashing his motorbike into a pool. His new stepfather retrieves him, and later finds out that Sean was boosting his radio signal so he could get a message from his long lost crack-pot grandfather (Michael Caine). Hank seeing the opportunity to bond with his stepson helps him crack the code which lead them to Stevenson's Treasure Island, Swift's Gulliver's Travels and Verne's Mysterious Island, and of course results in the coordinates for the island. The two set out for the island of Palau, which is the closest to the coordinates.

In Palau no one wants to go anywhere near the coordinates, except for the slightly insane helicopter pilot Gabby (Luis Guzman), whose daughter Kailani (Vanessa Hudgens) catches Sean's eye, and Hank is the one left paying big time.

A crazy storm, which no meterologist seems to have ever seen, but obviously the locals know about since they avoid the area, brings the copter  down, and everyone survives without a scratch, now time for that amazing factor. The island is full of wonders, where small is big, and big is small. The whole big is small is wonderful with the tiny elephants, one of which I would have certainly stolen, but the small is big part kinda suck, which results in a gooey bath, and running from a giant lizard.

They find Grandpa, he shows them some great wonders, and Atlantis, which you knew was coming since Sean showed a clue for its location to his Uncle at the end of the previous flick, but that's right we're not mentioning Uncle Trevor. There's friction between Grandpa and Hank which is a little weird since he's kinda estranged, but that's not the real problem. A golden volcano is erupting and the island is getting ready to return to the sea, which Grandpa was smart enough to find, but apparently not smart enough to see the signs of its rapid sinking. So much for finding Atlantis. From there its a great race to find Captain Nemo's Nautilus and get the heck out of there, which of course will take them through the heart of the Island, ie the most dangerous part of the island (see anyone else having another Jurassic Park flashback).

The action is quickly paced and the adventure is thrilling. Guzman offers much of the comedic relief, you can't help but to laugh at Gabby, and yes its most definitely laughing at him not with him. Johnson and Caine also have their fair share of comedy with their odd couple chemistry, though Johnson is fairly funny on his own. I will honestly not soon forget the Peck pop of love, or the thunder cookie, hilarious.

And as I said before some of the special effects just look downright bad. I'm not sure if its the 3-D that takes away from the effects, but some of the worse effects are during the Bee VS. Bird scenes. Overall the movie is a lot of fun. The kids are going to love it, and since it's completely set up for a third one, I'm sure we'll be seeing a moon adventure soon.


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