Monday, February 13, 2012

Movie review: "Journey 2: Mysterious Island"

If my family is any indication, "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island" is a movie that is likely to divide parents and children.

Dwayne Johnson, Josh Hutcherson and Luis Guzman

My wife and I took our kids, ages 9 and 11, to see this sequel to 2008's "Journey to the Center of the Earth" and our group came out strongly divided.

My wife and I thought the movie was pretty dreadful, hampered as it was by a clunky script, wooden acting and a predictable story.  Our kids were thrilled by the action, adventure and danger in a land of giant lizards, miniature elephants, and enormous bees that can be ridden like jetskis. They LOVED it.

In a way, we're both right we're just watching the movie from different perspectives.

The story surrounds designated sullen teenager Sean (Josh Hutcherson), a self-centered character so obnoxious I was rooting for him to be eaten by the oversized beasts the computer graphics department spit out for the story.

At the start, Sean gets in trouble with police after breaking into a satellite facility and is grounded by his mom (Kristin Davis) and stepdad Hank (Dwayne ("The Rock") Johnson. Hank is still learning how to be a dad to Sean and somehow interprets "grounded" as "spend thousands of dollars traveling together to a mysterious island on other side of the world because Sean really, really wants to."

On the island of Palau, everyone tells them that they'll surely die before reaching the supposed site of the island since deadly storms surround the area. But once Sean sees that the story's designated cute girl (Vanessa Hudgens) will be coming along they decide to go anyway, because, after all, who wants to argue with an obstinate, horny teenager?

Once on the island, the characters face a steady drumbeat of crises while barely allowing a hair to fall out of place. To say that the story lacks plausibility is like saying that Madonna lacks virginity, so my suggestion if you do have to watch this is to just give it up and let it ride.

That's certainly how my kids approached it little things like logic and coherence don't matter much when you have danger, teenage lust and giant electric eels on the screen.

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