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Viewers set sail for 'Journey 2: The Mysterious Island' Jeri Jacquin | Fri, Feb 10 2012 05:00 PM

Opening in theaters this Friday from director Brad Peyton and New Line Cinema is a return to adventure with “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island.”

This film tells the story of Sean (Josh Hutcherson), now a teenager, living with his mother Liz (Kristen Davis) and stepfather Hank (Dwayne Johnson). Looking for more adventure than getting along with Hank, Sean receives a signal he believes is coming from his grandfather Alexander (Michael Caine).

Trying to convince Hank that he needs to get to the signal is a challenge. The only way Sean can go is by taking Hank with him. Getting closer, they have to hire Gabato (Luiz Guzman), the only person who will even get close to the coordinates Sean has. Going along for the ride is his teenage daughter Kailani (Vanessa Hudgens).

It takes only minutes before all chaos breaks loose and the four find themselves on the mysterious island with even less time to find Sean’s grandfather. What all of them are stunned to discover is that the island they are on is the mythical world of Atlantis.

But the island isn’t too welcoming to guests and time is not on the adventurer’s side.

Final word
Hutcherson has a chance to grow up and take the lead on this second installment of the “Journey” franchise. He does a descent job and, when not starring at Hudgens, is fun to watch.

Johnson is fun and funny in his role as Hank. His presence is huge, in every way, and shows different sides of his character. Playing off of Caine’s character is so much fun to witness. Speaking of Caine, he is perfect as the adventure-seeking grandfather in a family of thrill seekers.

Guzman is very funny as Gabato. He may be on the fringes of the film but he comes in with wit and a comedic timing I really enjoyed. Hudgens just has to run around and hope to heaven her pants don’t get any lower than they were.

Davis as Mom Liz kind of gets the raw end of the deal here with hardly any one-on-one scene with her son or a storyline showing their relationship, other than Sean doesn’t like Hank.

Other cast members include Anna Colwell as Jessica, Branscombe Richmond as the tour guide and Stephen Caudill as the cop.

Tubs of popcorn
I give “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” three tubs of popcorn out of five. It is a fun time for the family, that’s for sure. There are laughs and even fun effects. The unnecessary 3D is there and its not needed. In some instances it seemed more of a nuisance than something to be awestruck by.

The film has charm and plays to kids as well as adults. It is filled with color, special effects and more of the adventures from Jules Verne’s classic stories mixed with “Gulliver’s Travels” and “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.”

In the end, believe the impossible and discover the incredible.

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