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‘Journey 2: The Mysterious Island’

This news story was published on February 10, 2012.
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By Rick Bentley, McClatchy Newspapers –

Do whatever necessary to avoid “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island,” a quasi-sequel to the 2008 release “Journey to the Center of the Earth.” It’s a monumental failure because of clunky acting, an uninspired story, not-so-special effects and flat 3-D.

Despite borrowing from multiple Jules Verne novels — and even a few other classic adventure books — “Journey 2” has less plot than a Super Bowl commercial. Sean Anderson (Josh Hutcherson), who went on a quest with his uncle to find his dad in the first “Journey,” teams with his stepfather (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) to search for his missing grandfather (Michael Caine). They’re joined by a quirky helicopter pilot (Luis Guzmán), who has some real sexual issues, and his spunky daughter (Vanessa Hudgens).

With so many characters and so much source material, the writers should have generated plenty of fodder for director Brad Peyton. But the script by Brian and Mark Gunn is so thin, half the movie has the cast simply walking and talking to help fill the 94-minute running time. (Peyton continues his losing ways; his last film was “Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore,” which was the equally atrocious.)

There are some terrible moments.

The movie comes to a screeching halt so Johnson can sing “What a Wonderful World.” There’s nothing wonderful about a world where the Rock’s singing is considered entertainment. Johnson should concentrate on serious action movies in which his skills are better suited.

And the musical interlude isn’t the worst moment. There’s actually a long sequence when berries are bounced off Johnson’s chest as a way to play off the 3-D.

Adding insult to injury, the film comes with a new Looney Tunes cartoon featuring Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd. The CGI used to make the cartoon has turned the classic characters into creepy creatures.

Even if you have to go from the Earth to the moon, skip “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island,” a film that should be sent 20,000 leagues under the sea.



Grade: D-minus

Rated PG for language, action scenes. Stars Dwayne Johnson, Michael Caine, Josh Hutcherson, Luis Guzmán, Vanessa Hudgens. Directed by Brad Peyton. Running time: 94 minutes.

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