Written by / 2/20/2012 / No comments / , , , ,

JOURNEY 2: THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND

Looking cartoony but not all that bad
Ltitle: JOURNEY 2: THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND
year: 2012
cast: Dwayne Johnson
rating: ***

Let’s get the negatives out of the way: the multicolored computer-animated MYSTERIOUS ISLAND resembles a seventies Hanna Barbara cartoon. And the reason for two suburbanites venturing into a distant island has practically no set up or logic. But it doesn't matter since the adventure itself is fun and involving, and yes, completely banal – but that’s not a bad thing. Teenage Sean, from JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH, has a new stepfather, Hank, played by The Rock, that he can’t stand. Until the muscular, surprisingly resilient ex Navy man breaks a code sent from Sean's “Vernian” (Jules Verne fanatic) grandfather, who’s found the Mysterious Island the iconic author wrote about. Along the way the duo meet two essential yet, in this case, completely contrived device characters – Luis Guzman as the helicopter pilot comic relief trying way too hard for laughs, and his gorgeous daughter as Sean’s romantic interest. Cut to the chase: once they arrive on the island and meet up with grandfather Michael Caine, it’s all about escaping from a giant lizard, giant birds (while riding bees), and once underwater, where Nemo’s submarine awaits, dodging electric eels. The suspense builds decently enough on land – if they don’t get off the island in time, everything will be covered by the ocean. And it’s as simple as that – so what else do you need in a live-action cartoon?
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