'Journey 2: The Mysterious Island' not worth the trip

February 9, 2012 

I think Journey 2: The Mysterious Island is a sequel. It’s ill-defined but it appears to be the next step after 2008‘s Journey to the Center of the Earth. The tie is Josh Hutcherson’s character Sean Anderson. He and his dad — done by Brendan Frasier — went to the center of the Earth.

No word in the sequel about what happened to dad.

New to the cast is Dwayne Johnson — AKA the Rock. He’s Sean’s stepfather, Hank. They have no relationship. When Sean gets into trouble with the law, Hank steps in and learns that Alex is a Vernian. Those who think author Jules Verne’s books are more biographical than fiction.

-- Local show times, theaters, trailer.

Sean has clues as to where Verne’s Mysterious Island might be located. But he can’t quite pinpoint the location. Hank just happens to have military training and the exact skills Sean needs to finish finding the island.

Instant bond, the adventure begins.

The travel to the area, book a helicopter and head for the island that the pilot and his daughter say does not exist. Luis Guzman and Vanessa Hudgens are father and daughter.

On the trip they hit a massive typhoon, the copter crashes and they’re stranded on the island. There they encounter the usual Vernian movie creatures: giant Iguanas, bees and other creatures. There’s a volcano that spews gold. The city of Atlantis is there. So is Sean’s grandfather played by a way-too-gleeful Michael Caine.

Two teens. You gotta have a love story and love does bloom between the two kids. Yawn. No make that a heavy yawn.

You can catch this in 2D or 3D. Neither will blow you away. This paint-by-numbers flick features basic and often badly done CGI effects, terrible acting by all involved — especially the normally excellent Guzman — and not much else.

By the way, the island is disintegrating, and with a PG rating you know that you never, ever have to worry that anyone is going to be harmed. Near as I can figure, the only harm coming from this one is the potential of turning your brain to mush.

Mr. Movie rating: 2 stars

Rated PG for mature themes. It opens Friday, Feb. 10 at the Carmike 12, the Fairchild Cinemas 12 and Walla Walla Grand Cinemas.

5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on video.
2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.

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