Journey 2: The Mysterious Island has a solid helping of thrilling elements. For yours truly, seeing a cameo by Branscombe Richmond (Bobby Sixkiller from Renegade TV series) was probably the most thrilling. Man, I miss that show.
Moving along, the 94 minute 3D adventure is a dazzling epic blend of Goonies meets Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. The fam-friendly flick commits to what it is and just flows effortlessly for the most part. Kudos goes to the cast (Dwayne Johnson, Josh Hutcherson, Luis Guzman, Vanessa Hudgens, and Michael Caine) who take endless mediocre dialogue, and through their talents alone, maximize it throughout the story.
Fortunately, the world created by filmmakers is a pleasure to explore. And in a rare occasion, the 3D is actually worthwhile. While it may not be Avatar good, it’s pretty damn close. The landscapes created on the island features ancient cities, a perilous underwater escape, and an emotionally engaging action sequence in the air; all of which can be described as having smooth CGI work. Everything is visually stimulating and easily has the ability to overshadow the under-developed comedic lines.
Yeah, the audible aspects can’t quite keep up with what one’s eyes are being treated to (though Dwayne Johnson’s song lyrics were fairly creative). And the pacing seems to jerk around a few corners and forces in the clichéd moments everyone can see and hear coming a mile away. What gets one through these is, again, the cast. The five main players all want to be here. Granted, the script lets them down but they are pressing on and will entertain the audience no matter what crappy lines they’re given.
Despite its generic nature – outside of the special-effects of course – this film rests its laurels on the escapism factor that is immediately present after the rushed opening. It’s very similar to an amusement park ride; expensive thrills that may have the ability to have your heart skip a beat here-n-there. But just don’t expect an Epcot-type ride (educational and/or substantial).
That’s pretty much all there is to this, kids. It’s a film that creates a charismatic world to explore and has a game cast who finds the right pitch in their performances. And if you can swing it, shell out the extra bones for the 3D gimmick.
Overall, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island is decorated extremely well and has some exceptionally talented hosts (cast members) to guide one through a typical grand-scale fam-friendly adventure.
RATING: 4 out of 5