English Title: Journey 2: The Mysterious Island.
Production: USA, 2012.
Release Dates: 19.01.2012 (Australia), 10.02.2012 (USA).
Russian Distributor: KARO Premiere (09.02.2012).
Genre: Adventure / Family / Fantasy / Sci-Fi.
Director: Brad Peyton.
Starring: Josh Hutcherson, Dwayne Johnson, Michael Caine.
Running Time: 94 minutes.
Lost in the Ocean
On the February 10th of 2012 a new Adventure movie rolls out to the theaters in the West. It is titled Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, a review of which will tell you about the new discoveries of Sean Anderson, who managed to gather a rather unusual team of fellow explorers.
The American publishing house known Walden Media also owns the film studio film studio bearing the same name. Currently, it is one of the most successful independent companies on the market delivering digital Entertainment for Kids and their parents using all the latest visual technologies. Most often, its success secret comes from basing new projects on popular literary works created for children. Most of the Walden Media movies become earn enough in box-office to cover all the costs, but some of them become phenomenally profitable, as, for example, the The Chronicles of Narnia trilogy (2005-2010), which earned nearly 1,6 bln. USD in the world box-office.
The public with great pleasure visit the local cinemas to watch more colorful adventure stories. Several years ago it was once again proved with the release of the film named Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008). It was modern adaptation of French literary classics written by Jules Verne in 1864 that enriched the producers with nearly 240 mln. USD, what was 4 times more than the budget spend to make this motion picture. At that time it also became one of the biggest teasers for the new 3D technology in the film industry, what was actively used in the movie’s marketing campaign. The sequel coming after almost 4 years is titled Journey 2: The Mysterious Island and goes the same path.
The first story of a young geologist Sean Anderson played by Josh Hutcherson, where he went to look for his missing father in a company of his uncle, was remarkable not only for an abundance of special effects or Brendan Fraser starring in the Lead Role. From the production side, New Line Cinema partnered with Walden Media being not only one of the olders US-based film studios, but also the one, who brought us The Lord of the Rings (2001-2003) trilogy, which got many fans all around the world.
The current owners of New Line Cinema represent the Warner Bros. company, which has also participated in making the new movie. Such close collaboration with Warner Bros. in the Walden Media project is shown for the first time, because in the past this publishing company used more to rely on working with 20th Century Fox or Walt Disney Pictures. Meanwhile, for Walden Media this joint-venture has become the fourth, where New Line Cinema was involved. It is also quite good. The bugget for this upcoming Family blockbuster, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, has topped the level of 110 mln. USD, what allowed to attract more celebrities and work with some latest digital technologies advancements.
Although in your theaters you can find the usual 2D-version of this film, it is still better to watch it in its version for IMAX 3D, because you will also be able to see some spectacular visual effects like witnessing the huge three-dimensional harpoon, flying out of the screen directly into an eye trying to scare the public.
Exploring the unknown Island
Seeking an Adventure
The story of Journey 2: The Mysterious Island continues the plot of the previous episode, which was a film named Journey to the Center of the Earth. There Sean’s uncle Trevor performed by Brendan Fraser along with his nephew went to Iceland, where together with the character of Anita Briem they made a new geographical discovery. Only the newspapers’ extracts placed on Sean’s room walls now remind of those old times. Sean has grown up, and while Fraser and Briem were busy being filmed elsewhere, the Producers of the sequel had to replace them with new faces integrating their appearance into the script.
Sean still stays with his mother, Elizabeth Anderson, although now played by a different actress – Kristin Davis. At one point he managed to intercept the encrypted distress call getting an idea that a missing grandfather Alexander Anderson might sent it. The latter one shows some brilliant and lively performance of Michael Caine. However, one boy can hardly undertake such a dangerous journey to an unknown land, and here comes the aid from his stepfather – Hank Parsons. Both Writers, which are the cousins known as Brian & Mark Gunn did not make another smart professor out of him, instead turning the character to a muscular entrepreneur working in the construction business.
Hank in the sequel Journey 2: The Mysterious Island has his strange fears, which get exploited later on. Though he doesn’t lack self-confidence and becomes a good target for sarcasm coming from a very agile for his age grandpa Alexander. Even though the writers have seriously limited the number of actors just as the original story did, it allowed to better describe the characters went on this rescue mission and not bother them exploring a new wonderful world. By the way, a particularly popular topic in the film industry of the latest months, the complex relationship of father and son will unveil itself here as well. In fact, only this dangerous expedition helps Sean’s stepfather to show his best sides in action and get closer to the kid emotionally. Hank is played by Dwayne «The Rock» Johnson, who has recently come back to the Wrestling sports, from where he originated into Hollywood.
One solved puzzle pretty quickly leads Sean and Hank, who came through military service in the Navy, to a secret message sent by a missing grandfater and hiding the proper coordinates of an undiscovered land. On the island of Palau in the Pacific, first they hire a couple of Filipino guides, including eccentric, but king pilot Gabato performed by, perhaps, one of the most famous Puerto Rican residents in Hollywood – Luis Guzmán, whose acting career started 44 years ago. His first major work for the big screen was a short cameo in the Crocodile Dundee 2 (1988) sequel.
The role of his beautiful daughter Kailani in the film Journey 2: The Mysterious Island was played by actress Vanessa Hudgens, whose image is appealing, especially to younger crowd, allowing for careful implementation of some romantic notes to the script to distract Sean from his obsessiona about the adventure a bit. In general, this ensemble cast works toether quite well: the characters of all ages interact with each other and build their relationships, while relying on a joke or two in some scenes.
All the tropical fun
Of course, this sequel doesn’t have an intention to adapt the book by Jules Verne for the big screen. It only takes some inspiration out of these classics. According to the script writers, Treasure Island (1883) by R.L. Stevenson, a fairyland from the book Gulliver’s Travels (1726) by Jonathan Swift, and the actual The Mysterious Island (1874) itself by Jules Verne’s share their telling about one specific place. However, the 94-minute running time is enough just for the brief tour around the unusual world presented here. The filmmakers have made it as much spectacular as possible and decided not to extend the adventure with overlong dialogues.
This sequel is another milestone achieved for the Director Brad Peyton. Previously, his most famous project was the Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore (2010) comedy, not mentioning short films and TV production. Now when making Journey 2: The Mysterious Island he faced another series challenge to make a movie based on rich special effects. In this particular case, still the best parts of the 3D technology are delivered with moving scraps, fragments, water droplets and other fragmented particles, boldly jumping far beyond the screen limits and flying directly to the audience.
All of this has enabled the team to create a cool biological world with its flora and fauna, dwarven elephants and giant centipedes, huge birds and bees. They become a pretty good company for Captain’s Nemo last refuge, one sinking island and even Atlantis remnants. Although the abundance of memorable visual images change each other rapidly. When you only get a glance on it, the story and its narrative already tries to jump to the next script goal.
The official soundtrack for Journey 2: The Mysterious Island was written by a Canadian composer named Andrew Lockington. We found this music to be very suitable for the occasion. Intense and sometimes relaxing orchestral arrangements possess a slight feeling of something magical in its best to the Sci-Fi world attract your attention even easier, to please your ears along with your eyes. It’s mr. Lockington’s third collaboration with Walden Media. For his tracks created for the original title, Journey to the Center of the Earth, he had already won numerous awards including the BMI Film & TV one for outstanding achievements in music writing.
This time Andrew made an album of 20 tracks featuring nearly 65 minutes of playing time, where there are two versions included for the song titled What a Wonderful World. Initially, the latter one was recorded by Louis Armstrong back in 1968, and now Dwayne Johnson sings it twice, including a more humorous version with different words used in one of the movie scenes.
The vivid colors and many spectacular scenes of the Journey 2: The Mysterious Island movie look very attractive on the backdrop of the many niche Oscar dramas and dark thrillers that appeared in recent weeks. This sequel delivers all its promises, while ending with another hint coming from the Producers. It reveals the upcoming intention to work with even more Jules Verne creative legacy in direction of any future Journeys.
Journey 2: The Mysterious Island Trailer
Movie Score by GameScope:
8.0 / 10