A mythical island with beasts of surprising size (fist-sized elephants and train-sized centipedes) is the setting for a Treasure Island-like adventure that will be released in theaters Feb. 10. Fourteen-year-old Blake Hawes, a finalist in the 2012 KIDS FIRST! Film Critics Search (winners to be announced next week), thoroughly delves into the story and its presentation in his sensitive and observant review of the film.
Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
Reviewed by Blake Hawes
(See his full review on video.)
Journey 2: The Mysterious Island is a fun and entertaining movie and offers some brilliant eye candy in some of the most impressive action scenes. Sean Anderson (Josh Hutcherson) has a new man in his life, his stepfather Hank (Dwayne Johnson). This movie is more about the relationship between Sean and Hank than a mindless cliche adventure movie. Sean grew up with a lot of loss of loved ones and people coming in and out of his life. Sean has trust issues with his new stepdad and doesn’t want to get too close to him, for he’s afraid that he’ll leave him due to his unfortunate past. Hank wants to play a bigger role in Sean’s life and hopes to finally make a bond between them.
Then they uncover the mystery of the Mysterious Island and go on an adventure to find Sean’s long-lost grandfather (Michael Caine). The only way to get to the island is by flying by helicopter. The quirky and fun tour guide (Luis Guzmán) is the comic relief in this huge journey. His daughter Kailani (Vanessa Hudgens) is Sean’s love interest in the movie. The plot itself is easy to understand for younger audiences and it is fun to see how it plays out in the end. The movie is chockfull of massive set pieces, which all are creatively brought to life by cinematography and editing.
Hudgens doesn’t deliver the most believable performance of her career because of the fact that she acts more like a big-city girl than a hardened islander of their destination. But all in all, she has great chemistry between Hutcherson in the movie, and should be commended for it. Guzmán however, delivers some tongue-in-cheek jokes throughout the film. He’ll offer a couple of chuckles throughout the movie for older viewers, but most of his jokes will appeal to the younger audience.
I like this movie because of its frantic action sequences and surprisingly well-suited soundtrack. This movie may be scary for younger viewers at points such as the lizard chase sequences. The intensity and the importance of the given situation during the final act of the movie gives the audience a very good reason to sit on the edge of their seats. Overall, I think the movie is very entertaining and has many great moments. I give it eight out of ten stars.
Photos: Journey 2: The Mysterious Island poster (top), Blake Hawes with Dwayne Johnson (bottom)