Sunday, December 2, 2012

Journey 2 the Mysterious Island

Directed by Brad Peyton.
2012. Rated PG, 94 minutes.

The Rock…er…Dwayne Johnson in another benign family flick. Yaaayyy! This time he leads a cast of misfits in the sequel to 2008’s Journey to the Center of the Earth which stars Brendan Fraser, hence the “2” in the title. Clever, ain’t they? Or not. Could Fraser have possibly been too busy to do this one? Never mind. Like in the original, a group of people decide to try and actually locate a mythical location from a Jules Verne novel. Obviously our heroes, only one of whom is in the first flick, are trying to find “The Mysterious Island.” With only a single relevant character appearing in both movies, the strongest link between the films is the supposition that Verne was actually a historian and not a novelist. Okay, fine.

Despite the focus on The Rock’s bouncing boobs, more on that later, the story revolves around the kid from the first movie (Hutcherson). No, I don’t care what the character’s name is, just know that he’s played by the kid from The Hunger Games. In that movie he is trying to find his father whom he thinks is at the center of the Earth. Here, he’s searching for his grandfather whom he believes…do I really have to say it? The kid is also a grade A brat who can’t get along with his stepdad played by The Rock AKA Man Candy. In an unusual bonding effort, Man Candy decides to help the kid find the place in the title. Not surprisingly, getting there takes some serious effort and surviving some particularly foreboding weather. Think Bermuda Triangle. It also includes Vanessa Hudgens and her dad Luis Guzman, AKA the pretty girl and comic relief, respectively. Of course they make it. Of course, and this is not a spoiler, they find Alfred Pennyworth…er…Harry Brown…er…Michael Caine, the kid’s grandpa. The conflict of the movie isn’t getting to the Mysterious Island, it’s getting off.

You probably know how all this plays out, except for that whole thing about Man Candy’s bouncing boobs. I’ve long suspected the reason he is in so many of kiddie flicks is to give moms something to fawn over while the fam friendly fun drones on. Journey 2 confirms my suspicions. He dispenses sage advice to the kid on how to make women fall madly in love. Part of that advice is repeatedly, and alternately, flexing your pecs which he happily demonstrates. Yes, the shirt he wears throughout surely cuts off his circulation. The pic above doesn’t do it justice, you gotta see this thing in action. During this excruciatingly long scene I had to endure my wife’s taunts of “You can’t do that,” and my daughter noticing “I can see his nipples.” Yup, they were that obvious. Think J-Lo in Anaconda, only I didn’t enjoy looking at these. Rated PG my shiny black hiny.

I’m not insecure. Really.

Regardless, Journey 2 isn’t terrible. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it good, but you know what you’re getting, especially if you saw the first one (not essential viewing to enjoy this one) and/or the Will Ferrell flick Land of the Lost. It’s an adventure with a few funny moments, some interesting visuals and a cute puppy love story all wrapped in an inoffensive package. Inoffensive except for Man Candy’s chest twitching, that is. For him, I invoke the words of the late great (and fictional) Nino Brown (google him, young’uns): I never liked you anyway, pretty mother…I’ll shut my mouth because I’m tired of talkin’ ‘bout The Rock.

MY SCORE: Wait a sec…

Dear Mr. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson,

These are just the jokes of an angry little human. After all, everybody’s a comedian. If we were to ever meet in person I’d gladly proclaim that you are ‘The Man’ and invite you to dip your ever-poking-through-the-soft-material-of-your-shirt nipples in ink and use them to etch an autograph for my all-too-smitten-with-you wife. You just can’t do this upon her actual person or we will have to fight to my death. Okay, now...

MY SCORE: 5/10

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