Sunday, 12 February 2012

174, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island

It's sequel time once more and for those not quite up to date, this movie charts the 2nd adventure for Sean Anderson (Josh Hutcherson) but unlike previously he's not accompanied by Uncle, Brendan Frasier but Step dad, Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson who jumps in line to assist where he can in the search for Jules Verne's, Mysterious Island.

Thankfully there is no sign or indeed actual mention of Frasier's character which is by no means a bad thing.  Sean is older, a littler wiser and having been commended on his achievements previously to find the Centre of the Earth is looking for his next big adventure which makes itself known by a hidden message sent by Anderson's grandfather stating he has found the Mysterious Island. 

This time around we head to the Pacific Ocean and with a brilliantly cast Luis Guzman as the inept and slightly camp Chopper Pilot and his daughter, Vanessa Hudgens its not long until the fab foursome find themselves marooned on the lost City of Atlantis thanks to a freak hurricane and desperately need to find Anderson's Grandfather (Michael Caine) and escape the doomed island before it sinks beneath the ocean one last time.

The trailer focuses on the special effects of the movie and in all honesty there very well done.  I saw this in 2D but you can definitely tell where the 3D elements lie and I can only guess they come across as quite impressive.  With nature taking a u-turn on the Island with tiny elephants and giant insects its Bee's for planes and killer lizards and birds that pose a threat rather than your normal Lions and Tigers.

As for your kids, well for my daughter the spider count was luckily very low, in fact almost non existent with an Electric Eel and Lizard being responsible for a number of the jumpy moments but even so - in a cinema packed full of kids its only scary on a 'Disney; scale - so nothing to frightful.

Josh plays a pretty decent hero this time around - being a little older his acting has developed and Vanessa plays the cute islander with complete ease.  Michael Caine does come across a bit odd, playing a slightly eccentric adventurer and although the kids will love him for it, for me The Rock was overacting his part with an impromptu sing-a-long around the camp fire taking it one step too far.  Don't get me wrong though  - from a Disney 'kids' perspective its great, I just prefer him laying the Smack-down on Triple H rather than singing a rendition Wonderful World. 

The runaway star of this one for me though is Guzman.  His role as the doting single parent to Hudgens get all the laughs and if ever you wanted an embarrassing dad, he gets my vote every time.

The special effects are truly impressive with the island looking beautiful, the insects and animals seamless and its no spoiler that being a Disney movie there's a happy ending.  I wont tell you how they manage to escape, that would ruin the fun but its a fitting end to a pretty decent Half Term movie.  Catch it while you can.