Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
Credit: Warner Brothers

If not for the detailed special effects, the science-fiction-adventure theme, or the magnificent computer generated scenes, there is still one good reason to go see "Journey 2 The Mysterious Island": Luis Guzmán.

The script speeds up to the predicted setting: an enchanted/uncharted island. The magical paradise atmosphere makes it worthwhile to bring the children along, mainly for the robotics, special effects and the beautiful computer enhanced scenery.

A shallow script but, who’s counting? There is no intention to change the world here, no need to.  The movie is pure fun and entertainment.  A predictive drama that you don’t want to miss.

Loved the strong yet feminine character played by Vanessa Hudgens as Kailani.

Even when the movie leaves out many aspects of Jules Verne 180 plus years old original version, "Journey 2 The Mysterious Island" provides an excellent opportunity to spruce up children’s literature, especially anything related to Jules Verne’s imagination. Characters like Captain Nemo, and worlds like Atlantis come back to life in this $79 million budget production.

The mysterious island is located near Palau, but the movie was filmed in eight different locations in Hawaii, mostly in Oahu, the big island.  Michael Caine, Josh Hutcherson and Vanessa Hudgens are part of the cast.  Luis Guzmán didn't mind having Dwayne Johnson as star in this sequel.  

Dwayne Johnson

Dwayne Johnson as co-producer is not your comic book superhero, but your real dad superhero.  The Rock, a third generation wrestler, bids farewell to his tough gladiator persona to welcome his mild-mannered, goofy, huge smile, ukulele player, real self to the screen.

In "Journey 2" The Rock is the everyday huggable, loving teddy bear that punches giant lizards.  The  regular loving family guy that will do anything to keep the family together, even if that means cracking up codes and heading to unchartered islands.  He’ll do whatever it takes to earn the trust of a kid (Josh Hutcherson) that doesn’t even like him all that much.

Dwayne Johnson was already a role-model before this production.  Now The Rock is the Super Hero Dad!

(Coming soon for Dwayne Johnson: “G.I. Joe Retaliation”. Release date: June 29, 2012).

Michael Caine

Veteran actor Michael Caine, sure knows how to make an entrance.  Born in March 14, 1933, Sir Michael Joseph Micklewhite is not a stranger to Jules Verne inspired productions.  His first co-starring role was in “Zulu”, a 1961 adaptation of, you guessed it, “Mysterious Island”, which he also co-produced and co-wrote.  He also played “Captain Nemo” in the TV series “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” in 1954. (Craveonline)

Michael Caine is a non-stop hard-working actor since he landed his first unpaid role as a seamen in the movie “Panic in the Parlour” in 1956.  The award-winning actor turns 80 in March 14, 2012.

(Coming soon for Michael Caine: “The Dark Knight Rises” with Christopher Nolan as Batman, and Michael Caine once again as dear “Alfred”.  Release date: July 20, 2012).

Luis Guzmán

Ever since I’m on a budget, I barely if ever go to the movies.  But when I saw Puerto Rican actor Luis Guzmán in this movie trailer, huffing and puffing to sell Dwayne Johnson on this trip, I knew it was  money well-spent.

If ever Luis Guzmán had been funny in a movie, this is it.  The only reason one will not laugh with this “problem child” (as he describes himself) is if you have stepped out of the theater... or if you are a sour critic.  Luis Guzmán is funny.

He recently confessed to the secret of his success: “I have ‘avena’ (oatmeal) every morning.  And once in a while a pink grapefruit.  And definitely some Latino coffee. And pay my taxes”.

(Coming soon for Luis Guzmán: “The Last Stand” -with Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Release date January 18, 2013).

Josh Hutcherson

Born in October 12, 1992, Josh Hutcherson is not new to science-fiction-adventure genre.  His first big movie hit was “Zathura” (2005) where two young half brothers hurl into space, house and all.  Also “Bridge to Terabithia” (2007) a charming and fantastic tale of friendship and imagination where a magical kingdom awaits across the bridge for those that can close their eyes and see, and of course “Journey to the Center of the Earth” (2008) with Brendan Fraser.

In "Journey 2" Josh Hutcherson is Sean Anderson, a rebellious, teenager whose stepfather is none other than The Rock.

Coming soon for Josh Hutcherson: “The Hunger Games”. Release date March 23, 2012.  A movie that promises another blockbuster for the 19 year-old actor.  The book that originated this film already sold almost 8 million copies since the movie trailer launched last November.

Vanessa Hudgens

With 23 years of age, the beautiful, rowdy, tough, charming Vanessa Hudgens stands on her own ground.  Even when her role in "Journey 2" as Luis Guzmán's (Gabato) daughter was superficial, decorative and predictable, she is kind of tough and cute!

Hudgens is better known for her role as Gabriella Montez in “High School Musical”.  She also appeared in “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody”, but her first starring role was as “Tintin” in the science-fiction-adventure film “Thunderbirds”.

Although her role in the movie was that of the hard-working girl, willing to make sacrifices, Vanessa lives proud of her many mentions as one of the sexiest women in the world.

Go For 3-D!

“Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” is meant for 3D.  Is one of those movies where the script and the characters are not as important as the special effects and the computer generated scenes.  Credit goes to Boyd Shermis, visual effects supervisor.  The fantastic creatures and magnificent disaster scenes make up for some incredible or unexplainable outcomes like, how did Luis Guzmán and the others got in the submarine and the bee rescue scene, among many others.

Is it true that spiders build their webs facing south?

The 3-D, 94 minute production, has a good rhythm and a good attention-getter for the first few minutes, but one soon realizes is not a thought-provoking movie.  Don’t do what I did. It is not worth going to the movies anymore if is not for the 3-D dramatic effects.  Still, this film is clean fun and wholesome family entertainment.

Is not a production to be nit picky about.  Is a moment to sit back, let it roll and allow for maybe one smile or two, possibly a laughter.  The movie is not perfect, but neither is life. We might as well enjoy it.  Especially when the children love it!