Journey 2 is just a pleasant movie. Yes, some moviegoers would say it looks incredibly dumb; being that The Rock is stooping down to kid humor again. But, really, in order to enjoy something like this, you have to embrace the silliness and joy that radiates when The Rock isn’t putting boots to asses. The man has a hell of a lot of charisma that gives this movie most of its laughs.
The adventure of Journey 2 begins when Sean (Josh Hutcherson) struggles to decode a message and his stepfather, Hank (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson), offers to help. Together, they solve the puzzle and Hank finally feels connected with Sean who frequently resents him. That soon diminishes as Sean reveals the message was from his neglectful grandfather, Alexander (Michael Caine). Alexander tells him that The Mysterious Island is real and he must come to see. After a seemingly simple discussion with his mother, Hank gets the go-ahead to assist Sean in finding The Mysterious Island.
They’re going to need transportation to get to the island that is surround by a 24/7 hurricane. Gabato (Luis Guzman) and his daughter Kailani (Vanessa Hudgens) have their hook up with their luxurious tour helicopter. Well kind of. Okay, it’s a piece of shit, but it gets the job done.
They chug along into the storm where the copter gets taken down and they wake up on the island. It’s not as cool as they thought on the beach, so they decide to go inland through a cave to find shelter and out of the cave; the island transforms into in to an amazing utopia where small creatures are large and large are small. It’s both cute and terrifying as elephants are dog sized and lizards are dinosaur size.
After finally finding Alexander, or well, Alexander saving their ass from being eaten by a giant lizard, he takes them back to his place to stay for the night. When they day is new, they go out and explore the lost city of Atlantis. It’s there where Hank’s Navy background helps him realize that the island is going to sink and they need to leave now.
IT then becomes a race to get off the sinking island before they become a part of the again sunken Atlantis.
Journey 2 handles itself well, balancing its comedy with some wild and adventurous action. In one scene, Michael Caine and The Rock are throwing one-liners back and forth, the next; they’re flying away from giant birds on bumblebees. There is always something to keep the audience either laughing or interested.
This movie does have its flaws. One major flaw is the lack of focus on Dwayne Johnson. If there is a close shot of the entire group, for some reason half of Johnson’s face is cut off screen. I don’t see why you pay big money for The Rock and cut him off the screen. He’s not that big!
I also feel Michael Caine has no real presence in the movie. He is merely the reason for them to come to the island. For the rest of the movie, he just sits in the back as Hank and Sean bond.
Another flaw, or well, more of an annoyance; Luis Guzman was being an exaggerated version of himself. I get how his character usually is: a bit of a man-child, little or no wit, and a heart almost as big as his gut. I usually don’t mind him, but in Journey 2, he seemed a little excessive. Constantly throwing silly lines that aren’t that funny, but he insists on continuing with it.
If there was one thing I enjoyed the most of this entire movie, it would be Dwayne Johnson. The man is just entertaining to watch whether it’s in WWE, an ass kicking movie (like Fast Five), or a simple movie like this where he can relax and have a good time. Whether it’s delivering a “thunder cookie” punch to a lizard, charming a campfire with his ‘uke skills, or pec popping berries off his chest, he sure can deliver a smile. It’s the irony that such a big guy is occasionally sensitive and silly that really gets to me.
All in all, I enjoyed Journey 2, but I can’t really see myself watching it again. Yes, it was funny to see The Rock lay back in this movie, but it’s more fun to see him putting boots to asses. He’s got a hell of a lot of charisma, but has no one to work with. Guzman and Caine didn’t help very much and Hutcherson/Hudgens had their own thing brewing towards the end to take focus away from the stepfather/child issue. The movie is a lot of fun if you go into it with expectations that of Land of the Lost. That silly tongue in cheek approach that really shouldn’t bee taken more seriously than you should probably know.
**Oh yeah, I forgot, it was in 3D like almost every other movie. The 3D was fun as expected. There is nothing better than berries being popped at the screen by Johnson’s bouncing pec’s.
Journey 2: The Mysterious Island – 7/10