Journey 2: The Mysterious Island

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island


Reviewed by: Donald Munro

Sean Anderson (Josh Hutcherson) is a Vernian. He believes that the works of Jules Verne are ostensibly based on real places and events. He receives an encoded message from Alexander his long lost grandfather (Michael Caine). With the help of his stepfather Hank (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson) and copies of Gulliver's Travels, Treasure Island and The Mysterious Island they work out Alexander's location. They then set out to find him and on the way enlist the help of helicopter pilot Gabato (Luis Guzmán) and his daughter Kailani (Vanessa Hudgens).

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island is a good example of bad storytelling. It consists of a repetition of statements about some sort of peril, usually a chase and then resolution through deus ex machina. This quickly becomes boring. Swift, Stevenson and Verne must be turning in their graves like an undead-powered Victorian perpetual motion device made with gaslights and brass cogs.

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For the film to be enjoyable, something good has to be hung on the clothesline-thin plot. Pegged onto the line is a stepfather trying to bond with stepson subplot. It's obvious and hung up like a sopping wet blanket. Maybe the spectacle of the Mysterious Island could lift the film? No, the CGI and special effects are like a pair of white sports socks slightly purpled after a colour wash. They just don't look real, they look computer generated. The film could use 3D to generate excitement but it just throws things in your face again and again and again: boring. The action sequences just don't cut it either - they are too long and lack dynamism and tension. An example is a chase with the heroes riding on the back of giant bees. It looks like the speeder bike chase on the Forest Moon of Endor with all of the podrace on Tatooine tacked onto it. The action is also undercut by lame attempts at humour.

The humour is mostly slapstick and hammed-up overreaction. However in quieter moments in the film The Rock carries the comedy surprisingly well and may well get a laugh from the audience. He also gives a fairly good performance on the ukulele. As for the acting in general, the performances have the feel Saturday morning cartoon characters. The actors don't seem to believe in what they are doing. On occasion Vanessa Hudgens puts in a good snippet. All in all the film is a bit of a washout.

Reviewed on: 03 Feb 2012
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Sean Anderson partners with his mom's boyfriend on a mission to find his grandfather, who is thought to be missing on a mythical island.
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Director: Brad Peyton

Writer: Brian Gunn, Mark Gunn, Richard Outten, Jules Verne

Starring: Josh Hutcherson, Dwayne Johnson, Vanessa Hudgens, Michael Caine, Kristin Davis, Luis Guzmán, Anna Colwell, Michael Beasley, Fileena Bahris, Shelley Bassett, Stephen Caudill, Paul Klink, Susan Hope Lee, James Troutman

Year: 2012

Runtime: 94 minutes

BBFC: PG - Parental Guidance

Country: US


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