Thursday, August 23, 2012

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island review.

Just caught up with this one on Blu-Ray, and while it's certainly not smart, it makes as an adequate guilty pleasure. Continuing after Journey to the Center of the Earth, Journey 2 sees Sean Anderson (Josh Hutcherson) going on an adventure with his step-father Hank (Dwayne Johnson). Sean is searching for his grandfather (the exuberant Michael Caine), a Vernian who believes the tales of author Jules Verne to be based on truth rather than fantasy. Hitching a ride with a sleazy helicopter pilot and his daughter (Vanessa Hudgens as Sean's obligatory love interest), they set forth to find the legendary Mysterious Island, complete with big special effects, terrifying monsters, and in your face 3D.

From a screenwriting perspective, this is not a good movie. The script, riddled with a textbook of cliches, exists merely to make an excuse for nifty effects in a string of prolonged acton scenes, with the exception of breaks (what few there are) to develop character. Everyone of the cast looks like they're having a blast, but their characters are so thin as to be paper cut outs. It has no unique personality or food for thought, but, simple is the way to go with these kind of old-school adventure flicks.

 Part of Journey 2's appeal is that it doesn't get brought down by an overly complicated script. It moves quickly, and the action is surprisingly really fun to watch. I also must give kudos to the effects guys. The 3D gimmicks get tiresome, and the effects are not always sublte and seamless, but a lot of effort was clearly made in creating this immense and fantastical world. Andrew Lockington also provides us with an exotic and thrilling score that features some of the most addicting and original musical themes I've heard in years. Patrick Doyle better watch out, because Brave is facing some steep competition as the best musical score of the year.

CAUTION: Awesome score!

You still have to turn your brain off to enjoy it, but it should be a pleasant diversion. It may not be very memorable, but I never got bored while watching it.

*** / *****

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