2/7/12

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island

Juvenile action films should always have Dwayne Johnson (formerly The Rock) in the cast. He has an unmistakable charm that spoofs his image and seems enormously likable. This time he treats us to his dancing pecs (yes, you read that right!) and a ukulele-accompanied version of "What a Wonderful World," but his focus is still kid-friendly family fare. No argument here!

To make an island this mysterious, Director Brad Peyton ("Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore") is once again using a LOT of Computer Generated Imaging. How else can we have puppy-sized elephants and honeybees big enough to ride?

We see:
  • Josh Hutcherson ("The Kids are All Right") as our hero, off in quest of an island that seems to exist only in books: Jules Verne's Mysterious Island and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and Robert Lewis Stevenson's Treasure Island. He decodes a message from his long-missing grandfather and thinks he might be stranded on an island doomed to soon disappear.
  • Dwayne Johnson ("Fast Five") is our young hero's stepfather but his awkward attempt at a father-son talk is pretty pathetic. He agrees to take the boy on a trip to the South Pacific, but has no idea what the kid really has in mind.
  • Luis Guzm├ín ("The Caller") owns a rickety old helicopter which they hire (chickens roosting in it are his "security system"). He knows the danger, but really needs the money to send his daughter to college.
  • Michael Caine ("The Dark Knight") is our hero's grandfather, isolated on that mysterious island for many years and more than a bit daft.
  • Vanessa Hudgens ("Beastly") is here for set decoration and to provide a flimsy love interest for our hero.
Lame dialogue like "Who's up for adventure?" and calling three guys "ladies" is offered, along with 3-D images of centipedes skittering off rocks into our laps, cherries ricocheting off the pecs of Rock into our midst, and pieces of that helicopter as it disintegrates in a hurricane. The children in the audience weren't bored and I am, once again, impressed by Dwayne Johnson's career path. He is the most unlikely of PG-rated actors, yet he consistently entertains in these goofy things. Good for him.
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Here is a link to a trailer:
http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi4230192665/
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