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Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

We enjoyed it all, just fluff but entertaining fluff.

Author: TxMike from Houston, Tx, USA, Earth
19 July 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

You know a guy like Dwayne Johnson doesn't come along very often. When younger he was an all-star football player, then a successful professional wrestler, now a successful movie star and can even sing pretty well. I have become a fan of his. Sure all his movies are fluff entertainment but he makes them entertaining.

Here he is just Hank, stepfather to a kid bent on getting in trouble. But the kid has a grandfather who is an explorer of sorts, and when he gets a mysterious radio message they are all off to find the supposedly fictional "Mysterious Island" that grandpa seems to indicate is real.

Grandpa turns out to be Michael Caine as Alexander. Caine is a good example of the fact that a good actor will find good roles no matter what age he is, because he can always change with the times to stay relevant.

The difficult grandson is Josh Hutcherson as Sean. When they get halfway around the world, armed with coordinates, and need a ride to find the island, rustic helicopter pilot Luis Guzmán as Gabato is there. Along with his pretty daughter, Vanessa Hudgens as Kailani.

Naturally not all goes as planned, they get helicopter-wrecked but do find grandpa and realize they really are on this strange island which really is the lost city of Atlantis. Isn't it supposed to be under the sea? Yes, at times, but now it happens to be on its island cycle. When it starts to sink before they thought it would, they had to scramble to find a way off the island.

Nothing in this story is plausible, so that allows us to get over that thought right away, and just sit back and enjoy the fun. And the movie is fun and enjoyable as light entertainment. It does exactly what it sets out to do.

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

So harmless and genial, it's hard to hate

7/10
Author: Steve Pulaski from United States
2 July 2012

Your initial question when approaching Journey 2: The Mysterious Island is, most likely, what is it a sequel to? Apparently, it is the loose follow up to 2008's Journey to the Center of Earth (unseen by me), which was one of the first films to utilize 3D, in its RealD revival form. Its sequel, made four years later, included the same medium and the forthcoming sequel to this film, arriving in 2014, will likely utilize it as well. I can't speak for the 3D viewing, but I can say, it certainly doesn't seem necessary.

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island is probably 2012's most interesting adventure film. Not great. Not riveting. But often exciting, cheery, and enjoyable. It flashes back to that style of adventure filmmaking Disney would continuously use in the 1950's, 1960's, and 1970's, like Swiss Family Robinson and the Witch Mountain franchise (recently remade, also boasting Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson). Maybe it was The Rock's instantly charismatic charm, the nostalgic outline and delightful homage the film pays, or possibly the underlying sweetness of all the characters, the lavish scenery, or the beautifully employed action sequences, but Journey 2: The Mysterious Island shredded my cynicism at the door and bravely carried me throughout its runtime.

The story follows seventeen year old adventure-seeker Sean Anderson (Josh Hutcherson) as he relentlessly tries to decode a message sent to him by his grandfather, Alexander Anderson, who has been missing on an island for two years. Sean is very distant from his step-father, Hank Parsons (Dwayne Johnson), and Hank makes a kind and earnest attempt to connect with him by trying to decode the message. When it is done (in an incredulous amount of minutes), Sean desperately wants to make the journey to Palau, where he can then get a ride out to sea where the island, named "The Mysterious Island," is located and hopefully find his grandfather. After cracking, Hank makes the effortless purchase of two tickets to Palau and the adventure is just beginning.

The two meet Gabato (Luis Guzman) and his daughter, Kailani (Vanessa Hudgens), who agree to fly them out to the island, because nobody else will, for $3000. Because the island is surrounded by vicious winds and hurricane-like storms, they crash land on the sand and begin exploring. They eventually meet up with Sean's grandfather, played by Michael Caine, where they learn that the entire island will sink in only a few days, so they decide they are the ones who need to stop it.

Whoa, have I said a mouthful. Still following me? Notice how I used some words like "effortless" and "incredulous?" It is those instances the film erects itself on. Insanely, next to impossible circumstances that can be solved in a fast few minutes. For someone who isn't good at suspending disbelief, the film truly made me look past that and see lighthearted, cheeky escapism it sincerely wants to bring. Cheeky meaning the film is jam-packed with strange villains and hazards, along with some mildly crude dialog, not to mention calling out clichés inhabited by other adventure movies from decades back.

Journey 2 is directed with skill and coordination by Brad Peyton, and includes some of the most enticing scenery this year in film. While most of it is CGI, the campiness and joyful qualities from adventure films from decades past is replicated in a wondrous and limitless way, catering to the homage part of the film's checklist. Aerial shots come frequently, and none of them feel too long or overstayed. They feel welcomed and are embraced.

There are times when Journey 2 gets too reliant on toilet humor, mainly from the ungraceful character, Gabato, but everything is kept in a positive, unobtrusive wit that manages to carry the film throughout most of its course. The picture, as a whole, is so harmless and genial that it's kind of hard to hate. Sometimes with children's movies, I get the message, I get the story, and I get the overall plot, but am not interested nor entranced in the story or characters. While many things are stock and many things are kept very basic (the love story between Sean and Kailani), I enjoyed Journey 2: The Mysterious Island more than other adventure films this year, including one that has swept the box office and is based on a novel that everyone has read. It employs something often lost in children's films and that something is pleasantness.

Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Michael Caine, Josh Hutcherson, Vanessa Hudgens, Luis Guzman, and Kristin Davis. Directed by: Brad Peyton.

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Time-Pass...

6/10
Author: nama chakravorty from India
6 June 2012

A sequel to the 2008 film Journey to the Center of the Earth, 'Journey 2: The Mysterious Island' is a time-pass flick, that shouldn't be taken too seriously. Its nothing, but pop-corn entertainment.

'Journey 2: The Mysterious Island' Synopsis: Sean Anderson partners with his mom's husband on a mission to find his grandfather, who is thought to be missing on a mythical island.

'Journey 2: The Mysterious Island' works because it never pretends to be anything else, but a pop-corn entertainer. Brian Gunn & Mark Gunn's Screenplay is fast-paced & escapist. Brad Peyton's Direction is imaginative. Graphics are terrific.

Performance-Wise: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is excellent, as always. Sir Michael Caine proves once again, that he can never disappoint. Josh Hutcherson is alright. Vanessa Hudgens is as usual. Luis Guzman is funny, while Kristin Davis appears in a cameo.

On the whole, 'Journey 2: The Mysterious Island' is a time-pass fare.

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Let's make a movie that looks cool with weird size animals. We don't need a plot. Sounds good. I say B

6/10
Author: Tony Heck (cosmo_tiger@hotmail.com) from United States
22 May 2012

"Let me warn you, this island is full of dark jungles and terrifying creatures." After Sean Anderson (Hutcherson) receives a code that he can't quite make out he is surprised when his mom's husband Hank (Johnson) comes in and solves it. After learning that the "mysterious island" may actually exist him and Hank set off on an adventure. After being surprised with how much I liked the first "Journey" movie I was a little excited to see this one. While this was entertaining the original was a much, much better movie. This was 3D in the theater and I think that may have helped me liking it more. There is really not much of a plot: Boy wants to go to island, boy goes to island, boy tries to get off island. This is more like "Honey, I shrunk the kids" then the first "Journey" but it is entertaining. The only real problem I had with it is that is seemed to be a movie where people said, lets make it look pretty and have strange sized animals for an hour and a half. That's pretty much what this is. Overall, entertaining but not as good as original. My kids felt the same way. I give it a B, they give it a B+.

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

This movie could have done better

7/10
Author: pogsnet from Philippines
21 May 2012

This movie could have done better. I should have scored 5/10 but because of Vanessa Hudgens I add 2 (no need to explain). This movie should have been a family oriented movie, well it still is. What is lacking is the taste to impress the audience, failed to bring the audience into the movie itself and feel the adventure themselves. Just look for example in Jurassic Park (part 1), Avatar and many other adventure movies that capture the heart of the audience. Right music, right scenes could make things better and adventure films don't need or require good scripts unless you wanna make a drama movie.

Flaws, first I don't see or can't feel any fear from any actors in portions they should have. Secondly, excitement is no where also in moments there should be. Probably this lack a drama taste. Jurassic Park has it and that makes it great.

This movie has a lot of potential and endless possibilities to capture the audience heart but they simply throw them away as if this is poorly budgeted movie. I have no problems with the cast, the thing of the matter is somewhere on the production has a lot of unforgivable flaws. Sorry this film is not worth it to be recommended.

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Nice addition

6/10
Author: kosmasp
14 May 2012

As predictable as this is, as much fun it is. Which does not solely rely on The Rock (aka Dwayne Johnson) being in it, but lets just say, he's a big part in the whole thing. Of course everyone who saw the Hunger Games (especially Teenage girls) will be excited to see one of their beloved characters be in this one too.

Of course there is Selena Gomez for the boys in this too. Plus you have your generic comedy relief (the dad, not Dwayne) and some really nice special effects (not talking about The Rocks breast here either). Cinematography is really good, the 3-D not really needed, but has some nice bits in it. Nice easy fun to be had then

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

See Dwayne Johnson, Michael Caine, and the rest have the time of their lives in the 3-D Journey 2: The Mysterious Island

7/10
Author: tavm from Baton Rouge, LA
3 March 2012

Josh Hutcherson is teen Sean Anderson, Dwayne Johnson is his stepfather Hank, Michael Caine is Sean's grandfather Alexander who they're looking for, Luis Guzman is Gabato who's the helicopter pilot that takes them to the island Alexander is supposed to be on, and Vanessa Hudgens is Kailani, Gabato's daughter who tags along. This movie takes elements not only of Jules Verne but also of Robert Louis Stevenson and Jonathan Swift (acknowledged in the dialogue) and brings a fun, exciting ride to the title place with plenty of thrilling 3-D elements to the proceedings. Oh, and the former Rock dose a nice rendition of "What a Wonderful World" with changed lyrics to relate to his characterization of the people he's with. Really, I highly enjoyed this movie and really recommend it to any families wanting to have a good time for a couple of hours. And don't miss the new Daffy Duck cartoon that precedes it! So yes, I was entertained with my movie theatre-working friend when watching Journey 2: The Mysterious Island.

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Journey 2:Mysterious Island has great 3D effects but story lacks depth

6/10
Author: jamesmacleod2010 from United States
19 February 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie was awesome to see in IMAX 3D, but it lacked interesting characters, funny jokes, and a few scenes (only a few) were cheesy. Vanessa Hudgens was lacking the hotness that teenage boys would want,and the jokes were lame. the story line was fine and everyone liked the constant fight between Hank and Alexander. The ending was predictable and sometimes you didn't believe the characters were on a "Mysterious Island" because after five minutes being on the island they acted as though it was just find to be on an island with giant bugs and strange creatures. The privacy sign was supposed to be a joke, but it was ignored and therefore a lame director's gag. Watch for it. I saw this movie today and it is for sure a "Sunday morning movie" rather than a date night or party night movie. The idea of small being big and big being small was fun. 6/10 stars.

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

fun movie for kids but prepare for a lack of real script writing

5/10
Author: ian-1029 from North England
18 February 2012

Nice movie for the kids to enjoy, but god awful plot and script writing - the scriptwriters should be ashamed - anyway a nice cgi jobbie for the kids (and big kids like me) but leaves you thinking how does all that evolve in 140 years................. ?

I have to write 10 lines or more on this film, what else do you want me to write without giving the plot away? I have to write 10 lines or more on this film, what else do you want me to write without giving the plot away? I have to write 10 lines or more on this film, what else do you want me to write without giving the plot away? I have to write 10 lines or more on this film, what else do you want me to write without giving the plot away? I have to write 10 lines or more on this film, what else do you want me to write without giving the plot away? I have to write 10 lines or more on this film, what else do you want me to write without giving the plot away? I have to write 10 lines or more on this film, what else do you want me to write without giving the plot away? I have to write 10 lines or more on this film, what else do you want me to write without giving the plot away? I have to write 10 lines or more on this film, what else do you want me to write without giving the plot away? I have to write 10 lines or more on this film, what else do you want me to write without giving the plot away?

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Entertaining family fun

8/10
Author: Neil Welch from United Kingdom
17 February 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The title of this movie is both clever and confusing: is it textspeak or a sequel? I don't remember Journey 1, do you? It turns out that it is a sequel, but it is a sequel to 2008's Journey To The Center Of The Earth, with Josh Hutcherson repeating his role as Sean Anderson. This time he is teamed up with his new stepfather Dwayne Johnson instead of Uncle Brendan Fraser on a new venture based on one of Jules Verne's novels (he has also had a Mom upgrade, to Kristin Davis). The two of them are off in search of Sean's missing grandfather Alexander Anderson (Michael Caine), the original Verne enthusiast, with the aide of comedy helicopter pilot Gabato (Luis Guzman) and his comely daughter Lailani (Vanessa Hudgens).

This is a family movie with lots of fun fantasy visuals and action sequences. The characters work well enough and are mostly well played, although this must rank as one of Michael Caine's worst ever performances. And Guzman's Gabato is drawn so broadly that, a lot of the time, he irritates rather than amuses.

But Hutcherson and Johnson do well enough as the resentful stepson and the stepfather trying to create a relationship: this is actually a charming and moving heart to a rather slight movie. Hudgens is, as always, cute, although her part requires her to hold back on her trademark smile until late in the day.

This is a lot lighter in tone than Harryhausen's Mysterious Island from the 60s: the CGI effects are all slickly realised but, for me, the creatures don't have quite the same degree of quirky character that their stop-motion predecessors had. Nonetheless, I'm glad that we have both films.

It is probably worth seeing this in 3D - it really suits some of the sequences.

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