Feb. 15, 2012 - Issue #852: The Coffee Issue
Journey 2 the Mysterious Island
In its first 15 minutes, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island whiplashes us from a punkass teen's joyride to his and supportive stepdad's sudden discovery (in an attic, of course) that maps from three island-adventure books from two different eras and genres (one is a satire and no, punkass, Treasure Island was not "written in 1883") merge to reveal a new island, then to the South Pacific. We're shot down a hurricane in a chopper with a cute girl and her bumbling dad to meet the punkass's Indiana Jonesing grandfather on the island, where Atlantis is and a volcano erupts gold! ... all that's missing are chocolate rivers and Willy Wonka. (Meanwhile, in "Daffy's Rhapsody," showing off how to update and honour source texts, the song everyone's favourite Fudd-rucking duck cleverly croons—with Mel Blanc's original voice—is taken from a '50s kids' album.)
Journey 2: The Mysterious Muddle panders to the kiddies (lizard-egg goo, plopping bird poop, berries popping off pulsing pecs in 3D), caters to the teens (punkass falls for cute girl), and tosses in a loser-ethnic-sidekick (Luis Guzmán doing cringingly broad schtick that narrowly avoids slurring Hispanics and Polynesians simultaneously). The shrugging tone of this 21st-century sabotage of the original novel is summed up by this slogan masquerading as dialogue: "It's Jules Verne, man—ya gotta believe."
If, however, you always wanted to see the Rock/Dwayne Johnson engage in a petty man-off with Sir Michael Caine, only to make up with a high-five, this still isn't your movie. Because you have to sit through the hulking ex-wrestler strumming a ukelele, B-grade F/X giant bee-riding, then bromance-bonded son and stepdad finding Nemo's nautilus and jumpstarting it with an enormous electric-eel. The assumption? Size matters, not quality. The moral? Go for the short and leave happily thereafter.
Directed by: Brad Peyton
Written by: Brian Gunn, Mark Gunn, Richard Outten
Featuring: Josh Hutcherson, Dwayne Johnson and Michael Caine
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