Friday, June 29, 2012

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Journey 2:  The Mysterious Island - 3 out of 5

Much to the chagrin of some people, 3D is the big thing in movies now.  It's come a long way from the days of the red and blue cardboard glasses and, I'll be honest, I enjoy going to a theater and seeing a 3D movie--even though I wear glasses and look like a doofus  when I put the Real D 3D Buddy Holly glasses over me own spectacles (read those last four words with an Irish accent).  But, I'll admit, not all 3D is great.  Personally, I enjoy when the venture into the 3rd Dimension creates further depth into the film you're watching and brings you into their world rather than be just another spectator.  However, I hate it when 3D films are filled with 3D gags--and some of these movies are built entirely around this idea.  This film's predecessor was one of those films and a vast majority of this one fits that bill as well.

Is there a butt trying to escape from under the skin on his chin?

After being at the center of the Earth with the mummy fighting Encino man, Sean is living with his stepdad, The Rock, and is your typical snotty little punk of a turd child who thinks he's the smartest man in the room and ends up getting into some trouble as he gets caught by the cops breaking into a radio tower in order to receive a message from his missing grandpa (Michael Caine)--who, also, is the very first Vernian (a person who believes that all of Jules Verne's books were based on true events and facts--it sounds less crazy than Scientology.)

In an attempt to bond and fight his instinct to drop The People's Elbow, Stepdaddy Rock helps Sean decode the message and discover a map to the Mysterious Island (add a suspenseful crescendo music cue there).  Then, in a moment that is both a painful example of terrible parenting and a family that has a ridiculous amount of expendable cash, The Rock takes Sean to the island of Palau in an effort to locate the Mysterious Island (music cue).  There they find an incompetent (possibly a man-child with the mental development of a three year old) helicopter pilot (Luis Guzman) who inexplicably has an amazingly hot daughter (Vanessa Hudgens--I see those "leaked" nude cellphones pics are finally starting to pay off...and by pay off, I mean get you some semblance of work).  Together, they find the Island (music)--but, then again, it wouldn't be a very long movie if they didn't--and they find Sean's grandpa...oh, and they find out the Island (music cue) is sinking.  Damn the Island (music) and its dramatic sense of timing!

Come on, I'm really suppose to believe that Luis Guzman is the father of boobs--
I mean, her?

I know I sound like I'm being rough on Journey 2 but I actually kinda enjoyed it.  Don't get me wrong, this movie is far from brilliant--not at all.  Instead, it's one of those movies that can keep you entertained just enough during its running time and it doesn't make you say, "Why the hell did I waste my money on this anyway?  Oh yeah, because I have kids...why didn't I wear a condom?"  To put it another way:  Journey 2 is a decent family film.

That isn't to say it doesn't have its fair share of problems...

For example, Josh Hutcherson (Sean) is still a weak actor and this movie just shows that he is doing very little in his growth as an actor.  Michael Caine mirrors this performance by delivering very poorly (which is actually shocking) but maybe the check was large enough that he did this film solely for his retirement (P.S. - don't ever retire, Michael).  However, Dwayne Johnson was very entertaining and carried the entire film on his broad, well-developed shoulders (I'm not gay, he just has amazing shoulders).  Hell, my desire to see this film was entirely based on this scene from the trailer...

Oh...and Vanessa Hudgens...what can I say about her?  Well, let's put it this way:  Once her looks go, no amount of "leaked" nudie pics will get you roles.

Once your career is dead in its tracks, you missed your Playboy deal and you're addicted to
meth, you'll miss the days where it was fake glass being sprayed in your face.
Too mean?

One thing that thoroughly disappointed me about this film was the use of Luis Guzman.  I enjoy Guzman as an actor and have found him amusing in his numerous roles in movies and television shows he's been in but he was wasted in this one.  While his character has some genuinely funny moments (like the feeding the pecks), the rest of the film is him acting like a mentally deficient boy who can't utter a line more complicated than "ohhh" in a hundred different tones and inflections.  Seriously, how many lines were written for his character in the script?

"I'm Michael Caine...I'm Batman's butler and now I'm on a giant bee...your
argument is invalid."

The story is straight forward and simple (it's a family movie after all) but the majority of the movie's special effects feel phoned-in.  The Island (another music cue) and the creatures that populate it look cartoonish and are about as well-rendered as a SeeFee--excuse me...SyFy--film.  But as you watch the movie, it was obvious that the special effects, story and characters were the LAST thing on the filmmakers' minds as lame 3D gags assault you left and right...and then again from the left--and I watched this one at home in the old fashion, missionary position of the dimensions and even then, the awful pandering to the exotic position of the dimensions is kinda painful to sit through.

Cut--we need a tighter shirt for The Rock.  We're trying to get lonely housewives to
take their kids to this one.

Journey 2:  The Mysterious Island (another music cue, maybe?) isn't a spectacular film.  It was made only for the excuse to play around with 3D but with The Rock at the forefront, some humorous moments and the fact it's not a bad movie to enjoy with the same people you strive to avoid (your family), it's not that bad.

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