Reviewed by: Raphael Vera
|Featuring:||Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson … Hank
Michael Caine … Alexander
Josh Hutcherson … Sean
Luis Guzmán … Gabato
Vanessa Hudgens … Kailani
Kristin Davis … Liz
Anna Colwell … Jessica
Stephen Caudill … Cop
Branscombe Richmond … Tour Guide
Walter Bankson … Hockey Player
|Producer:|| New Line Cinema
|Distributor:||New Line Cinema, Warner Bros. Pictures|
“Believe the impossible. Discover the incredible.”
Sean (Josh Hutcherson), reprising his role from 2008’s “Journey to The Center of The Earth,” has intercepted a strangely coded message from his long lost grandfather Alexander (Michael Caine).
Enter Hank (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnsonan never wanted but tolerates for his mother’s sake but becomes usefull when he is able to decipher the message that starts them on a journey to find the elderly Alexander and the fabled “Mysterious Island”.
They enlist the help of Gabato (Luis Guzman), a third rate tour operator in the South Pacific along with his reluctant daughter Kailani (Vanessa Hudgens). What our foursome discovers is an island both beautiful and deadly, and a land that none, except for Jules Verne, knew existed but that holds a secret that may doom them all.
Language: Minor. The lack of both curses and curse substitutes is a welcome change with the harshest words being the use of ‘crap’ and ‘heck’. No other objectionable language is used, nor was God’s name taken in vain.
Violence: Moderate. The peril is behind every corner in this film and escalates as it heads towards the climax. The helicopter the group rides is torn apart amidst a Hurricane and cyclones. Several times they are threatened with being eaten by giant lizards and beasts of enormous size. That and the threat of the island’s volcano keep the film’s threat level consistently high. The use of 3D will make these scenes particularly scary for young kids but of course delight others.
Sex/Nudity: None. Sean is clearly attracted to Kailani from the first and the stares he gives while mimicked by the camera are thankfully short and few. Sean’s sophomoric attempts at getting her attention are laughable, as they were meant to be, but never cross the line.
From the beginning Sean is disrespectful of Hank and dismissive of almost anything he has to offer him. The opening scenes Sean and his parents are brief so we don’t get the full impact this has on the family in the way both the Bible and life itself confirms.
“A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish son grief to his mother” —Proverbs 10:1.
Sean is a stereotypical teenager, and he is willing to lie about his interests to get Kailani to like him. When she catches him in this Hank tells him sarcastically, “Way to slay the heart.” This would have been the perfect opportunity to tell him the value of being honest but later he does explain three (3) ways to get a woman’s attention, one of which actually had merit.
The Word of God speaks of how it will be in the last days and while films, even family friendly ones like this, present us characters that for the most part are ‘good’ I am still fascinated how the heroes end up embodying, granted in small amounts, the kinds of flaws in character that we are warned about in the last days.
“People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” —2 Timothy 3:2-4.
Both Gabato and Hank love their kids but the sense of responsibility they show indicate how very different they are from each other. Gabato, the film’s comic relief, may care a lot for his daughter but at one point his greed puts them all in peril. Though he is appropriately chastised we are reminded from the Bible how this course is never profitable.
“A greedy man brings trouble to his family…” Proverbs 15:27.
Sean wants to do something very risky and Hank has to put his foot down and tell him, “No!” Sean gives in but says to Kailani, “What’s worse is when they try so hard”. Kailani proves she is more grounded and wiser than her father when she replies, “No, worse would be if they didn’t try at all”.
The crucial role of fathers in their children’s lives is brought home when Hank later reveals that he was abandoned by his dad when he was eight. The importance of an intact marriage cannot be overemphasized. When this problem was discussed Jesus explained God’s view (and our commandment) when he said,
“Haven’t you read, he replied, that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’, and said,’For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore, what God has joined together, let man not separate” —Matthew 19:4-6.
Adult filmgoers need to embrace a lot of “suspension of belief” to appreciate this movie. The list of plot holes is matched only by the inconsistent and sometimes embarrassing dialogue. However, that was clearly not the intention of the director as special effects and action took center stage. The 3D was well utilized throughout but the CGI effects were inconsistent ranging from landscapes that were colorful to the point of near cartoonish to strikingly realistic with the larger beasts.
“Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” is another enjoyable family friendly action movie starring the Rock (Johnson) that has heart, though a bit forced, and strangely enough only slightly more believable than his “The Tooth Fairy”. ‘Journey2’ has virtually nothing in common with the Jules Verne’s book but will entertain and thrill as long as you don’t think too hard or expect anything more. Parents with younger children should exercise extreme caution.
Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Minor / Sex/Nudity: None
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.