Journey 2: The Mysterious Island easily beat box office predictions, making $27.6 million over the weekend and coming in third after unexpectedly strong performers The Vow and Safe House. A very loose interpretation of Jules Verne's 1864 novel The Mysterious Island, Journey 2 is a sequel to 2008'S Journey to the Center of the Earth, the first 3D digital live action film and a not-as-loose adaptation of Verne's 1864 novel of the same name. Journey 1 made over $240 million worldwide, making a 3D sequel inevitable. So instead of a 13-year-old Sean (Josh Hutcherson) being accompanied by a beefy volcanologist (Brendan Fraser) who takes Sean deep inside a volcano to help him find evidence of his long-lost father, we now have an older Sean (still Hutcherson) being accompanied by his much, much beefier stepfather (Dwayne Johnson, aka World Wrestling Entertainment's the Rock) to an uncharted island off the coast of Palau with hopes of finding Sean's long-lost grandfather (Michael Caine). Watch the trailer for Journey 2: The Mysterious Island below.
While I normally detest 3D, I allowed myself to be excited about Journey 2 because of my deep affection for the Rock (I still can't bring myself to call him by his real name). I was a big professional wrestling fan as a youngster, and I have continued to admire it later in life, even if I don't watch it much. But when I saw the Rock in action, I immediately knew that he could be one of the greats. A third-generation wrestler, Rock not only had good looks and tremendous physical prowess (at 6'5" and 275 lbs. of agile muscle), but he clearly had the charisma and acting skills that separate the superstars from guys who are simply good wrestlers. While I haven't seen many of the Rock's films, I was always excited about the idea of non-wrestling fans getting to appreciate the multiple talents of one of pro wrestling's great talents.
But sadly, Journey 2 showed me something that perhaps I already knew: the Rock is a great actor... for a pro wrestler. This isn't helped by the fact that it's hard to accept someone as a stepfather trying to connect with his teenage stepson when the stepfather has the proportions and musculature of a living He-Man doll. But I can hardly pin the uninspiring, often nonsensical nature of Journey 2 on the Rock, since even talented actors like Caine, Hutcherson, and Luis Guzman seem uninterested in doing little more than going through the motions, reciting bad dialogue from a sloppy script, and collecting their paychecks. Perhaps what's most mysterious about the Mysterious Island is that it takes place in a world where well-paid actors are unable to mimic authentic human emotions, and a script's action scenes appear to have been written before the story.
To read or listen to my full review of Journey 2: The Mysterious Island on the Uprising Show, click on the image below.