This is a more of visual feast and a very fast paced movie then a cerebral remake of the Jules Verne’s Classic the Mysterious Island. So you have to take it for what it is and not for the Verne’s novel. Like the prequel to this movie ( Journey to the Center of the Earth, 2008) Journey 2 takes a creative license and bases the story off a society of Vernians who search out clues from Jules Verne’s novels so they can prove them to be a matter of non-fiction not fiction. And continues on the young adventure Sean Anderson (Josh Hutcherson) search for all thing Jules Verne’s ( See plot summary below). The movie is intended to be a 3D feast for the eyes. No doubt about that and it delivers. A young and older audience that has that young at heart mentality will completely enoy it. I took my 6 year old and my 13 year old and they both sat riveted to the seat. Something they never do. Seeing it IMAX also helped but it is not their first go with IMAX either and I have seen them get bored quickly with movies. My take on it was better then the first movie . Something you rarely see in franchise movies. But to be fair the first movie in the series was a darker film because of the setting. It was some what in the unbelievable realm with the action which made for excellent action sequences and effects in 3D and it was light hearted. The Rock ( Dwayne Johnson) played his character really well . And legendary Michael Caine playing a wily old Grand farther with his dry English humor was fantastic to see. The film had a good balance of all those things you want from a light hearted action flick with Sci Fi influences.
I gave it a 4 stars out of 5 because of its production and its family entertainment.
- Dwayne Johnson as Hank Parsons, Sean’s stepfather.
- Josh Hutcherson as Sean Anderson
- Vanessa Hudgens as Kailani, Sean’s love interest and a tour guide.
- Michael Caine as Alexander Anderson, Sean’s grandfather.
- Luis Guzmán as Gabato, part of a father-daughter tour guide team.
- Kristin Davis as Elizabeth “Liz” Anderson, Sean’s mother.
Plot by Wikipedia
Sean Anderson is caught by police escaping from a satellite research center where he was attempting to access a signal broadcast that was too faint to pick up outside of the facility. Escorted home by his stepfather, Hank Parsons, he eventually reveals that the mysterious broadcast he was attempting to access was a set of indistinguishable words that he is trying to decode. Hank, in an attempt to bond with his stepson, solves the code which tells them to look for Treasure Island, Gulliver’s Travels and Verne’s Mysterious Island and Sean suggest that they were all based on the same island. Hank then tears out each page with a map in each book and shines a light through them to make one map that reveals the islands co-ordinates. Sean believes that his long lost grandfather was the one behind the transmission, and that he has discovered the island. Sean and Hank immediately set out for the island of Palau. Both Hank and his wife, Liz, don’t believe anything that Sean is convinced of, such as the fact that the Mysterious Island could exist and that his grandfather discovered it, but after Hank considers that this trip could help bring him closer to his usual anti-social step son, the couple decide it would be ideal. Once arriving at Palau, they board a private helicopter run by Gabato and his daughter Kailani, whom Sean immediately develops a crush on. The four travel to the co-ordinates until their helicopter is hit by a freak storm, causing them to crash on the island, where every big animal in the world is small and every small animal is giant (inspiring Jonathan Swift to write Gulliver’s Travels). They are then chase through the forest by a giant lizard until they finally meet Sean’s grandfather. He leads them back to his hut where they spend the night. Once it is determined that a radio signal for a distress call can only be sent once a fortnight, it is decided that the group will stay put until then.
The next day the five travel to the lost city of Atlantis, buried far back in the jungles. There Hank finds evidence to believe that the island is slowly sinking. It is revealed through Sean’s grandfather that the island sinks underwater once every 140 years or so due to shifting tectonic plates, and that they still have years before the next cycle begins. Hank’s recent discovery, however, shows that Sean’s grandfather’s calculations are wrong and that the island will sink in a few days. From there the group set out to Captain Nemo’s tomb, which contains his journal holding the whereabouts of the legendary submarine, The Nautilus, their only hope of escaping on time. Once the journal is uncovered, they set out towards Nautilus, encountering various obstacles in their path. Sean’s foot is dislocated after a dog fight involving a giant bird, and the group is slowed down. The next morning it is discovered that Gabato has left the group to return to a previously passed volcano of gold (inspiring Robert Louis Stevenson to write Treasure Island), which he believes is his and Kailani’s only hope of living a decent life. Kailani and Sean’s grandfather set out to find him while Hank and Sean continue to look for the Nautilus.
Once at the submarine’s entrance, the two are disheartened to find that the rising sea level has buried the cave underwater and that they must dive to where it is located. Using a simple breathing device, they manage to reach the submarine and open the entrance hatch, narrowly avoiding a nasty encounter with a giant electric eel.
Kailani and Sean’s grandfather eventually find Gabato and convince him to return to the submarine. Once there, they are distraught to discover that Hank and Sean are nowhere in sight. Unbeknownst to them, the pair are attempting to start the submarine, although the batteries are long exhausted. Hank devises a plan to use the eel to conduct enough electricity to kick start the Nautilus, and equipping a basic diving suit, exits the sub to confront the eel and throw a harpoon at it.
Once the submarine starts, they quickly travel to the surface and retrieve the other three. Six months later, Gabato is head of a successful tourism movement on Palau, and has enough money to send Kailani to the United States where she is dating Sean and attending college. At Sean’s birthday, his grandfather gives him a copy of From the Earth to the Moon, and proposes another journey (to the moon), as a family. The film ends with Sean, Kailani and his family reading the book together, and a view of the moon.
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