Thursday, August 2, 2012

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island

In "The Hitchhiker's Guide To the Galaxy," after much research Ford Perfect declared the Earth to be "Mostly Harmless." I could apply the same rating for this movie. Kids will like and adults can sit through it rather painlessly with an occasional chuckle.

The movie has Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson playing stepfather to a rather wild teen.  He is searching for his Grandfather whom he believes is on Jules Verne's Mysterious Island which is a real place.  After about a minute of code breaking they figure where it is and go off to the South Pacific.  There they hire Luis Guzman and his daughter to fly a helicopter to the island.  Obviously it wouldn't be a Mysterious Island if it was easy to get to and they crash.  They also find the Island to be a mismatch of big animals now small and small animals now absolutely huge.  In this mess they find Grandfather played by Michael Caine with a lot more joy than one would expect in a part like this.  Together they try to get off the island by trying to reach Captain Nemo's submarine.

I like the interactions between the actor.  Caine and the Rock form an amusing prickly relationship.  They both want on the best for their boy and try a bit of semi friendly one upmanship over him.  Guzman on the other hand forms an almost puppy dog attachment to the rock.  He happily plays Sancho Panza to the Rock's pec rocking Don Quixote.  Josh Hutcherson and Kristin Davis form an appealing couple that aren't so much sweetness and light that it would want to make you gag. 

The special effects are all right.  I didn't see it in three D, but I can tell that it was definitely part of the design of the film and not carpentered up over it in post.  The overall design is eye catching and colorful.  If I have a couple of problems with the film they are just small nagging logical problems in the situation.  For example, the island supposedly sinks on a regular basis.  What happens to the giant animals when the island sinks?  Enquiring minds want to know.

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