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Journey 2: The Mysterious Island IMAX 3D (8/10)

by Tony Medley

Run time 94 minutes.

OK for children.

I had yet to be impressed by any movie shown in 3D since Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008). Generally the 3D is flat and the colors horrible. That all changed tonight with this sequel, which substitutes Dwayne Johnson for Brendan Fraser as Josh Hutcherson's protagonist. This is by far the best 3D I've seen. When you take off your glasses, the colors remain vivid. The depth is very impressive. I saw it in IMAX and it was almost overwhelming. I was sitting fairly close and had to turn my head to see things in various parts of the screen.

As to the story, it's clearly for children again, but it's still an involving tale about Johnson and Hutcherson going to find Jules Verne's "Mysterious Island" in the South Pacific. Once in the South Pacific they hook up with gorgeous, shapely Vanessa Hudgens and her father, Luis Guzmán, and fly off to crash on the Mysterious Island where they finally locate Josh's grandfather, Michael Caine.

The rest of the movie is a colorful travelogue of the island where they encounter huge lizards and colorful birds and bees and other flora and fauna never before seen as they race to get off the island before it sinks.

For me the most beautiful scenery was provided by Hudgens, who wears a tight, scoop-necked tee shirt and short shorts throughout the film. She was definitely built to be seen in 3D. But that's not to depreciate the beautiful colors that are almost constantly onscreen.

Brad Peyton does a fine job directing a script (Brian Gunn & Mark Dunn) that is secondary to the acting and colorful scenery. Caine gives one of his typical charming performances and Johnson, who has branched out from his normal action roles occasionally, seems more and more comfortable in a light comedy like this. He even plays the ukulele and sings. He's getting so he can do it all, slowly morphing into one of the more appealing leading men extant. Unfortunately, when he got rid of his nickname, The Rock, he discarded what had become his trademark move, raising his one eyebrow. I miss that.

All in all, this is a delightful entertainment for children and adults alike. It's accompanied by a Looney Tunes cartoon in 3D, entitled "Daffy's Rhapsody." This is the kind of cartoon I can see and enjoy. It's around 7 minutes long, includes Elmer Fudd, takes you back to the movie experience of the 40s & 50s when they were all double features and included news and a cartoon, includes Mel Blanc's voice, and the 3D is very good.

February 7, 2012