I went to the movies today with my husband, our three boys (ages 3, 8 and 10) and on of their friends (age 9), to see Journey 2: The Mysterious Island. It was the first movie that I watched with the intent of reviewing it afterward. It didn't really change the way I watched the movie, but I kind of wish I had brought a notebook or something to write a few reminders in. Ah well, live and learn!
Sean (Josh Hutcherson), the boy from Journey to the Center of the Earth, has moved to a new town with his mom and step father (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson). He's less than thrilled with the move and his new family, and he's rebelling, until he gets a distress call from his grandfather. He can't break the code from his grandfather's message without the help of his step-father Hank. Together they break the code and figure out the coordinates of the island where his grandfather is. Hank convinces his wife to let him take Sean on a trip to find his grandfather, in the spirit of male bonding. The problem is that the island doesn't exist on any map, and they can only find one guy willing to bring them there, for a pretty penny! Fortunately for Sean, the captain has a beautiful daughter (Vanessa Hudgens from High School Musical Fame) who tags along.
The four passengers survive the stormiest section of the ocean, and find themselves stranded on the Mysterious Island without an exit strategy. They quickly make their way inland and realize that what should be small is large (ants and bees), and what should be large is small (elephants), as described in the book The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne. They find Sean's grandfather (Michael Caine) and rely on his knowledge and skill to navigate the island and it's non-human inhabitants. Hank's Navy training proves invaluable, and the group is able to make their way to Captain Nemo's Nautilus before sinking with the island.
Everyone in our party enjoyed this movie. My youngest son, who is 3, didn't get a lot of the humor, but he stayed attentive to the movie, which is more than I can say for a lot of movies. He wasn't even afraid of the scary giant iguana-like creature that chases and torments the characters.
The 4 other boys (including my husband) liked the slightly crude jokes and the light humor. Their favorite part of the movie was when the iguana-like creature was chasing them and Vanessa Hudgens' character said, "I hope he doesn't like Polynesian food!" and her father responds, "I hope he doesn't like food with poop in their pants!" It was fitting for the situation, and I laughed too, but it was especially funny to the boys.
There were a lot of cheesy one-liners in this movie, but overall I thought it was well done. It had a wholesome message and it was nice to see a film with the family that we didn't have to worry about violence, sex, foul language, etc. It wasn't had to look at the Rock either, even if we did have to explain 'pec popping' to our 8 year old.
Overall I'd give this movie 2 thumbs up for family fun!
What I Liked
- I love The Rock in family movies. He is believable, and has great comedic timing. He's also easy on the eyes!
- Josh Hutcherson is a boy-next-door looking actor who plays an awkward teen really well.
- The movie sparked conversations with the boys about the books that the plot line relied on: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and The Mysterious Island, both by Jules Verne. I think my 8 year old is going to read them first. If he likes them, his 10 year old brother probably will too. Anything that encourages reading of the classics is okay in my book!
Did you see this movie yet? Did you see it with kids? Did you like it? Tell me what you think in the comments section!