Movie Review: Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
Prinz Lee wrote this review 5 years ago
Truth be told, a film like Journey 2: The Mysterious Island is meant for one thing and one thing only – fun! Clean to its core with a story which pretty much embellishes the art of adventurous will, however, deeper within its core lies what I believe to be a subplot of unity, family and love. Sprinkled with charismatic strength and good looks with The Rock, high humor with Luis Guzman, wit and wisdom with Michael Caine, impulsive teen-based issues with Josh Hutcherson, and last but not least a little eye-candy with Vanessa Hudgens, the film comes full circle providing 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 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, 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 course a film with such pizzazz in all forms of affects, slapping it with 3D enhancement can make it just a bit better, right? Of course! Off the bat, of all the 3D films I’ve seen during the last couple of years, this one stands out to be better in the sense that all of its affects are in-fact made for 3D purposes. It’s not to say the film couldn’t have been enjoyed in 2D, but it was quite pleasing to see that for audiences around the world who will check it out won’t be ripped off. It’s happened several times and considering prices nowadays at the Box-Office, it’s pretty shameful when I see and/or hear studios slapping films with 3D affects to not only pique interest, but also lure in the funds. Kudos and mucho respect to Warner Bros. for not robbing or reaping anyone’s attention-span and pay check.
The film is more than just affects, as casting was pretty cool. Films likeJourney 2: The Mysterious Island 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 helps keep it alive.
Personally, despite what many may think, Dwayne Johnson simply works! Johnson has a habit of being a bright spot in films – whether good or not. He's just generally likeable on screen and has a certain charisma combined with physical presence which 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 wouldn't have a lengthy career in Hollywood. Having played a father before, the role as Hank was interesting, because one really got to see struggling development between step-father and step-son.
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 ability to keep a scene moving, but there’s more to this man than simply comedic ability. I think one of the most underrated Hollywood actors to date, this man has a look and demeanor which I’d like to see writers and/or directors test him with and it stems from utilizing his usual role, flipped and watched from a different angle. I think with a good script meant for HIM and setting, this guy can expand to something a bit more cynical and cryptic.
We all know Michael Caine’s a power house with his English accent, smarts and relaxed persona, as is Vanessa Hudgens who I think has a lot to look forward to other than the High School Musical franchise and what I thought was a cool role in Sucker Punch.
With a script that seemed fun, yet, challenging while in production, their chemistry blended well in this beautifully shot film with lots of magic. Whether 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.