Another day, another Milestone Review.
That’s right, welcome to my 950th review for the website! The only thing really special about this milestone is that it is super close to a real, actual, super duper milestone, at 1000! That review I have been planning for awhile now.
But for now, I am going to talk about Journey 2: The Mysterious Island. I did Journey To The Center Of The Earth as my 850th, because I am a Geologist, and damn it, I wanted to talk a lot about the bad geology and strangeness of that movie. But once a franchise gets suckered into the Milestone review category, it is really hard to get out. Thus a sequel! A third one is coming out eventually, so hopefully that lines up nicely for me.
Speaking of nice, this movie is about an island! Hell yeah. That means it won’t distract me with a bunch of bad geology. I might even be able to enjoy it?!
Oh for fucks sake.
This movie takes place a few years after the first film. Sean (Josh Hutcherson) no longer has to talk about his uncle, because well, he does’t live with his uncle. That was a one time thing. There are zero references to Brendan Fraser in this movie. So he is back to living with his mom, who has finally gotten married, to Hank (Dwayne Johnson). Probably one of the best possible upgrades for adult male star.
The thing is, Sean doesn’t want to hang out with him ever. He is getting into trouble in school, with the local lawmakers, you name it. But why?
Turns out Sean has been hearing a signal broadcasted by satellite in a code, and he is pretty sure it is from his Grandpa, who hasn’t been seen in two years! He is now a full fledged Vernian, and by golly, Hank was an intelligence person with the Navy. So he helps crack the code, which appears to hint the location/existence of The Mysterious Island. Apparently the same island as Treasure Island and an island in Gulliver’s Travels! Whoa! Collusion between authors! So, fuck it, they somehow convince the mom to let them go and find the dang island, as a way of bring them closer together.
At the island, they find only one man crazy enough to take them. Gabato (Luis Guzman). What? How did Luis Guzman get into this movie?
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Turns out he doesn’t have a boat, but a helicopter. Oh well, it will do. He also has a daughter, Kailani (Vanessa Hudgens), who also happens to be around the same age as Sean. How lucky!
Well, they get to the island, but through crash landing. Apparently there is a storm always around it or near it, hooray protection. Too bad they don’t have a way off the island. Looks like the only way they can think of is to first find the grandpa, and use whatever he has to get out. Right? Right?
Well they find him (Michael Caine) pretty easily, it will just be a few weeks before his transportation happens. Shit. Oh well, time to explore then, eh?
Aw yeah, mother fuckin’ ruins and shit.
Through whatever bullshit book source they decide to give us, not only do they determine that this island is home to Atlantis (see above), but it also sinks down to the bottom of the ocean every hundred something years. Of course, plenty of time to do research.
Until Navy Intelligence Speicalist Hank takes the case! No dog, there is salt water in the middle of the island in puddles around Atlantis. For it to get there, the sinking must be early. They probably only have a week or so to get off the island. Well shit. Better hurry on up then.
“No guys seriously, I was in the armed forces for my brains not my brawn!”
So they rush. Oh yeah, what makes this island actually magical or cool? Well, normally big things are small, like a tiny elephant, and normally small things are big, like bees or lizards. In fact, they can ride the bees and the bees are totally like “Oh yeah that’s cool, fuck it, hop on.”
Shit. Luis Guzman and The Rock share a bee. That is some strong bee muscles. Well, turns out after a night of sex appeal and Rock serenading on a ukulele, his calculations were incorrect.
No. They only have mere hours before the island sinks. Oh nooooo!
Not so subtle sex appeal for a PG movie.
So they search for The Nautilus, the submarine from that one book. You know the one. But other bad things happen, like getting split up, and getting greedy. Because shit, that volcano is over a huge gold deposit, and thus gold is all around the base. You will never guess which character makes it his mission to retrieve the gold before the island sinks.
To be fair, they have noble reasons.
Sean and Hank find The Nautilus, but it is off the coast and under water. Shit. Thankfully they can hold their breaths forever, and successfully get down to the submarine. But it won’t start. Oh man, its been inactive so long, it needs power.
If only there was some way for them to get power down there?
Needless to say, things work out, and we are set up for part 3.
So first of all, you can tell this movie really wanted to sell its 3D aspect to the viewers. I didn’t get to see it in 3D, just Blu-Ray, but they have a lot of silly shit fly at your from the screen, and it is really obvious even in the just Blu-Ray version.
Need an example? I found this awesome gif.
To be fair, that was also one of my favorite scenes in the movie. Kid wants to know how to get the ladies. Apparently the correct way is by flexing the pecs back and forth. True. I am falling in love the more and more I watch it, and that shit was hilarious.
I can say without a doubt this movie is better than the last. Now they have an established story line. The first film has the problem of trying to exist in a world where the book…exists. So it isn’t telling the same story, but still does a lot of the same events in that story.
In this one, they don’t worry about telling The Mysterious Island story, they make their own across multiple books. It is just a lot more interesting and less annoying scientifically.
For this one, science wise, it is a bit better, but of course none of the biological implications of the island are explained, the storm, or how it actually can just go up and down every hundred years with no one noticing. Outside of magic.
But it is a lot more amusing and a lot more pretty than the first one.
And again, sorry to Mr. Fraser, but Mr. Johnson is far better suited for this and interesting.
So yeah, this movie isn’t a complete shit storm? Go figure!
2 out of 4.