Journey 2 Movie

February 12, 2012 by staff 

Journey 2 Movie, There is something innately likable about The Rock.

Er, sorry, Dwayne Johnson. The former professional wrestler continues his unlikely career as the star of action-based kids’ movies with “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island,” which is based on Jules Verne’s writing in much the same way a Big Mac is based on a filet mignon. Johnson can’t save the movie, directed by Brad Peyton, from being a sloppy skip from one seemingly unrelated idea to the next. Nor can the somewhat surprising appearance of Michael Caine, though this is the man who appeared in “Jaws: The Revenge,” so slumming is nothing new for him.

But Johnson, bless him, is in there swinging, giving it his best while, among other things, flicking his pecs while others bounce berries off them — yes — in a nearly nonstop plea for the audience to like him. And the effort pays off, sort of, in that Johnson again comes off as a thoroughly decent fellow (though was it really necessary for him to sing?). Plus, the look of the film is impressive, as are the effects. Overall, however, it’s a big, loud, 3-D drenched jumble.

Josh Hutcherson returns from the first, better film, “Journey to the Center of the Earth,” as Sean, a smart kid who opens the movie by getting arrested. This causes dismay for his mother (Kristin Davis) and, especially, his stepfather Hank (Johnson). Sean has his reasons for the crime he commits, but Hank is convinced, rightly, that Sean needs a strong male figure in his life, and he is the man for the job.

Sean isn’t so sure. But when Hank helps him decode a message Sean believes is from his grandfather Alexander (Caine), who hasn’t been heard from in two years, Sean insists he travel to Palau; he’s convinced Alexander has discovered the Mysterious Island in Verne lore nearby. Hank is not, but, sensing a bonding opportunity, says he’ll take him.

Once there, they’ll need a ride to the supposed location of the island, but no sane captain will take them. Enter Gabato (Luis Guzman), pilot of a broken-down helicopter, who brings along his daughter Kailani (Vanessa Hudgens) for the trip, to Sean’s delight.

Creatures are encountered, danger is faced and G-rated romance seems to spark between the eager Sean and the less-excited Kailani. And yes, somewhere along the line, Johnson warbles “What a Wonderful World” while accompanying himself on a ukulele. (“It takes a big man to play a small guitar,” he explains.)

Hutcherson stars in the upcoming movie adaptation of “The Hunger Games,” whose script will presumably serve him better. Hudgens isn’t asked to do much more than stand around in a tank top. Guzman provides the prototypical comic relief, leaving the affable Johnson to shoulder the heavy lifting, such as it is. But no actor, no matter how willing, could make sense of this.

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