Up to date information about children's entertainment – film, TV, DVD and more…. from founder and president of KIDS FIRST! Ranny Levy

Journey 2: Mysterious Island

journey2.jpgWatching one of our new youth film critics conduct their first interviews is really one of the most fun parts of my job as their producer and coach. Last week, I had the pleasure of accompanying 14-year-old Blake Hawes to the press junket for the new Warner film, Journey 2: Mysterious Island. Blake attended as one of the finalists in our 2012 youth film critics search competition. Today, he was announced as one of our official winners! (Congratulations Blake). Check out his interviews here.
Blake is a truly wonderful young man with the good fortune to have two equally wonderful parents. Both Blake’s Mom and Dad accompanied him at two days of events all over Oahu as we screened the film, met the cast and hung out with the other critics who virtually took Blake under their wings.

All of us loved the film which is a story about a mythical island where small critters become huge and huge ones become miniaturized. The underlying message of the story deals with something many young people can relate to: getting along with a step parent. Dwayne Johnson, who not only stars in the film but is also one of the producers, was beyond kind to Blake – particularly after Blake told him this was his first interview ever. “The Rock’s” response was to stand up and say, “then let’s take a picture.” Afterwards, he coached Blake on his now famous, “pec-pop of love.”

Be sure to take a look at his video review here or read it below:

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 cliché 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.
Nice start Blake. Keep up the good work. We can’t wait to see your next one.

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