WARNING: This post contains mild spoilers of the movie, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island.
Okay, so I ended up passing out first thing after a long day at work the other day, so I never really got around to my promised second review. I didn’t think it mattered too much though, since the movie I’m going to review this entry wasn’t all that interesting. In fact, I only went to see it just on a whim. In fact, it may have been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, but not because it was the best movie ever—it was because I had found $20 on the ground that someone had dropped. Seriously, that had to have been the highlight of my morning. The last time I found a bill on the ground that big was in high school in the middle of a hallway, though that time I only picked up $10. Still crazy.
Anyway, this movie didn’t surprise me one bit. It can be pretty much summed up as “so bad, it’s kind of hilarious.”
So I’ve marked this entry as having spoilers, but it’s nothing extensive. It’s not a movie worth describing scene by scene; I’m only going to be highlighting the parts that had me cracking up because it was so bad.
The movie started off very ’90s-style to me. We’ve got a rebellious kid on the run from cops—of course he eventually gets caught—and his stepfather turns out to be someone working in law enforcement. Troubled teen, gives his mother grief, doesn’t get along with this stepfather, yadda yadda. Well, apparently he’s in trouble because he broke into some satellite facility, trying to get a better signal so that he could better hear the code that he thought he heard on his homemade ham radio.
A bit later, we learn through an overly dramatic scene that the code was written in “Vernian” (what they call Jules Verne “experts”), and the boy decides the message has to be from his grandfather. Conveniently, his stepfather is an ex-Marine or something like that, so with his help they are able to break the Vernian down to morse code, interpret that, and find out that the “Mysterious Island is real.” Then, through some more scenes of all-too-convenient deduction, they find out that the books of Treasure Island, Gulliver’s Travels, and The Mysterious Island are all books about the same island, it’s just the authors each only saw a third of the whole island.
Convinced that his long-lost grandfather (a self-proclaimed Vernian and explorer who disappeared some time ago) is the one who sent the message and is on the island, the boy—I honestly can’t remember his name and I feel like it’s not even worth looking up—is determined to go and find him. Dwayne Johnson’s character, the stepfather, is eager to get the opportunity to “bond” with his stepson, so he decides to help fund the kid’s trip and tag along. His stepson isn’t exactly thrilled, but he let’s Johnson come along anyway.
They get to this touristy island that I can’t remember the name to, and of course where they want to go has waters so treacherous no one wants to take them for the ride. Luis Guzmán’s character, however, is really desperate for the money because he wants to be able to send his daughter (Vanessa Hudgens) to college, so he jumps on the opportunity. There’s some corny dialogue that follows where Johnson and Josh Hutcherson (the stepson) are impressed by a boat they think belongs to Guzmán, only to discover that Guzmán only owns a very beat up helicopter. Johnson, feeling like the aircraft isn’t safe decides that they have no choice but to head back home. Hutcherson, however, stops him when he catches sight of Hudgens (love at first sight or whatever) and after a bit of one-way negotiating they end up on Guzmán’s helicopter. Using the information from the fictional novels, they end up flying into the eye of a storm and get transported to the “mysterious island.”
Now here’s where things get super predictable, so I’m just going to fly through the details. First the group is all shocked and awed by how beautiful the island is, and unlike the experience in James Cameron’s Avatar, the audience isn’t really given a lot of time to drink in the beauty of the surroundings. Also, on this island, things that are normally small are made larger than life, and the creatures that would normally be huge are now minimized. For example, an elephant is now no bigger than the size of a dog, but a butterfly is about twice the size of a human. Anyway, the group ends up on some lizard eggs, wake up said lizard, and then get chased by one angry mama. They are miraculously saved by Michael Caine (the grandfather), and take shelter in his little island hut on stilts.
Apparently the whole purpose of getting Hutcherson to come to the island was to show him everything on it before he would make known his discovery to the general public. After they’ve rested, the grandfather gives the group a little tour and they get to see things like a volcano that erupts gold and the lost city of Atlantis. The best part? They aren’t really chased by any more big and bad creatures. However, unfortunately (and quite hilariously, in my opinion), the island is about to sink. Supposedly the island isn’t supposed to sink for another so many years, but now they only have so many days to get off the island. The group panics for about five minutes wondering how in the world they can get off the island, when the grandfather recalls the story of Captain Nemo and his Nautilus, which is apparently still available somewhere on the island and the group’s only means of escape.
The story only gets more ridiculous from there. Next, the group finds out that now instead of days, they only have hours left to get off the island because apparently the island has decided to sink faster than it’s typically supposed to—I guess it didn’t appreciate the extra weight of our cast, haha. Long story short, the crew all does eventually make it home, but not without some obstacles to make their journey home more difficult. Like the killer birds that attack them while they’re flying on bees (though I forget why they got on bees in the first place), or when the group needed to get back Hudgens’ father who ran off to get some of the gold so he could send his daughter to college. There were also some complications with the Nautilus, like the fact that it was submerged very deep under water and how it was out of juice. The solution they came up for that was by spearing a giant electric eel.
So in the end they all make it home, Hutcherson gets the girl, the money situation for Guzmán and Hudgens all works out, and they all live happily ever after. Oh yeah, and there’s hints of an upcoming sequel, which will probably be just as terrible and laughable as this one. Yay. Hahaha.
It almost seems pointless to rate this, but here it is anyway:
Re-watch Factor: *
FINAL VERDICT: D-
The rest of this week has got me pretty busy, so I don’t know for sure when the next time I’ll post, but whenever that is, I’ll see you all then!