Disasterpiece Theatre: Journey 2: The Mysterious Island in 3DBy Jacob Lindsey(Before I begin the column this week, I want to remind everyone about Mick Foley and Eve Torres' Wrestlemania Dream Vacation Raffle. For more detailed information, click here, but basically you have the opportunity to win a really nice trip to Wrestlemania in Miami, along with meals with Eve Torres and other divas, and Mick Foley himself. It's for a great cause--one that I'm proud to support--and 5 entries into the raffle is only $10. So, support RAINN and win a free trip and some cash. Thanks guys!)Last night, I spent more money than I ever hope to spend on one of the columns because I was forced to watch this week’s film in 3D. For the record, I HATE 3D, so I admit that I had sort of a bias against this movie from the beginning. 3D movies are like spending 2 hours staring at a Magic Eye picture, and unless you’re 8 years old, those aren’t fun. Anyway, I saw the movie in the theater—a first for this column—and I wanted to live-blog it, but it just didn’t work out. If you haven’t seen the movie, and you plan to, consider this your SPOILER ALERT, because I may mention stuff in the column that could blow your mind. Or not. So without further ado, here is the very first theatrical experience of Disasterpiece Theatre.<!--more-->Ok, ridiculously large popcorn? Check. Gallon of soda? Check. 3D glasses? Dammit. Check. And I made it for the previews. A few pre-movie thoughts:
- Power Rangers Super Samurai is a thing.
- I’m really glad these previews are approved for APPROPRIATE AUDIENCES.
- How did the Madagascar animals make it to Monte Carlo for Madagascar 3? I’m not watching the movie to find out…
- Danny Devito is the star of The Lorax, so you can count me in.
- The 3D remake of Clash of the Titans sucked butthole, but we’re gonna give it another go, anyway.
- The Hobbit is going to be phenomenal.
Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
- There are children in here. And they are speaking.
(2012) opens with Michael Caine (Alfred, Austin Powers’ dad, a million other wonderful roles) narrating about how a long time ago, Jules Verne wrote some fantasy books, but “Vernians” don’t believe they’re only fantasy…because they’re nuts. Then we cut to police chasing a guy on some sort of motorized bipedal device. This is important for the children, because now they know it’s ok to run from the police, as long as you wear a helmet. The kid ramps someone’s jungle gym slide in their backyard and flies into the neighbor’s pool. When he comes up, he whips off his helmet and TADA! It’s Josh Hutcherson (The Hunger Games
, Journey to the Center of the Earth
…whoops…guess I should’ve watched that one) as Sean Anderson, who is apparently a troubled youth searching for adventure and felony charges. We find out that he was trespassing at some satellite facility, then he ran because that’s the best idea. The Rock shows up, violating WWE’s Wellness Policy all over the place, and he’s so disappointed in Sean, his stepson. In case you’re wondering, movies require all stepchildren to hate their stepfathers/mothers forever.Back at home, Sean is confronted by his mother who calmly asks, “Why were you breaking into a satellite facility?” Sean assures her that it was nothing and goes to his room without further discussion. Hank—that’s The Rock’s name…suits him—knocks on the door, because he’s concerned. Sean doesn’t want to be bothered. Clearly the parents are very disappointed in him, but they respect his person space as a young person in the house. F**k that, the kid just RAMPED HIS BIKE INTO A POOL. My dad, who works in law enforcement, would have let me have person space…while spending the night in jail. Sean is too caught up in his teen angst to care about others, but he does pull a piece of paper out of his backpack and say, “Now that I got you, I just gotta figure out what you mean.” That’s cool, because that’s what I’ve said to every girl I’ve ever dated.Hank eventually makes his way into Sean’s room, because he realizes he’s the damn adult. Sean still thinks he’s a jerk (he is), but he humors the guy. Sean finally reveals that he received a radio transmission, but couldn’t really make it out, so he went to the satellite facility to boost the signal. Does this remind anyone else of Lost
? Where is Sayid when you need him? The radio transmission was from a Vernian, or crazy person, and it was sent in some sort of code, because The Da Vinci Code
. Hank looks at the sheet and immediately determines that the message is a jumble of words that somehow represent Morse code. The first line is “The island is real,” which causes Sean to get a science boner. From there, Hank and Sean instantly decipher the rest of the code using other classic books. Apparently, the islands mentioned in Jules Verne’s The Mysterious Island
, Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels
, and Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island
are the SAME ISLAND AND IT EXISTS! Duh, there’s no way to write about a place unless it actually exists. Once this discovery is made, Sean decides that there has to be a map, but none of the maps in the books match. Fortunately, Hank is secretly a Navy cartographer and code figure-outer, so he rips the maps out of the priceless first edition (maybe) books, then makes them all connect, showing that all three books feature different parts of the same island. DUN DUN DUUNNNN!With this information, Sean starts packing his bags, while Hank goes, “Uh…wut R U doin?” Sean explains to Hank, like he’s a dummy, that he’s going to go to the island alone, because apparently his grandfather who has been missing for two years MUST be the one who sent him the message, and he’s going to go find him. Wow, way to quantum leap to conclusions there, kid. Of course, being a responsible parent, Hank tells Sean he ain’t going for two reasons: 1) He’s grounded for taking his bike swimming. 2) He has school, and probably a test on Thursday. Uh, Hank? How about “YOU’RE F**KING 16!” Sean tells Hank he’s not his real dad, and he’ll do whatever he wants because he has the means and ability to travel to a remote mystery island and survive while searching for his missing grandfather.Later that day or night or week, Hank and mom are in the kitchen when Hank tells mom that Sean needs him to go on the trip so they can connect and be best buds. At this point, I have no idea what any of these people do for a living, but they must be loaded. Later that day or maybe the next—there’s no clear progression of time, you see—Hank surprises Sean with passports and tickets to wherever, which is pretty cool since it usually takes a while to get a passport, and he did it without getting Sean’s picture taken. I guess, theoretically, they already had passports? Maybe I’m thinking about this too much… Anyway, they head out to a Pacific island, so they can go to another island that may or may not actually exist.Once the stepfather-stepson duo make it to their jumping off point, they start trying to hire someone to take them to the island, but they are told that the only thing that is “out there” is a graveyard for ships. So, naturally, they keep looking. When they offer one guy $1000 to take them out on his boat, he refuses, but Greendale Human Being and celebrity alumnus Luiz Guzman sees dollar signs, so he volunteers. Unfortunately, all he has is a dilapidated helicopter…but he also has a daughter (Vanessa Hudgens, Zac Efron’s Ex with the Bush
). She decides that this would be a perfect way to help pay for college, so she jacks up the price to $3000, and we’re in. I really wish I had three grand to drop on a trip to the Island of Death.According to the coordinates, the island is in the middle of the storm of the century, and according to some book, the only way to access it is to fly directly into the eye of a hurricane (which is the calmest part, in case you didn’t know…Hurricane Katrina survivors, represent!). I suppose that’s better than an island that can only be accessed through some loophole in space-time, but if there’s not an all-inclusive resort and a butler, I’m not going. Of course, in the middle of the storm, the helicopter breaks and everyone embraces death, then the credits roll. Just kidding…they all wake up on the beach of the island, which looks like someone forgot to tell it that it’s supposed to be majestic. Sean starts walking around, and he finds a cave that has a bunch of disgusting bugs in it. When they come out on the other side, they find the awesome part of the island, where butterflies are huge and elephants are like little pigs, but much cuter with their big floppy ears and baby elephant trunks and…uh…what?The four begin to trek across the island, in the direction of some smoke, because that’s where Sean thinks his grandfather is. They’re walking across rocks that are clearly eggs of some sort, but they’re not paying attention until Luis says, “Derp, these rocks are weird!” They realize that these are indeed eggs, and Luis deadpans “We are literally walking on eggshells,” which was my favorite line of the movie. I hope it was ad-libbed. Suddenly life starts to suck really hard, because the creature that laid 600 giant eggs is a 90-foot cross between a Komodo dragon and that thing from Jurassic Park
that killed Newman. Our friends are running through the jungle, trying to avoid death, when they stop so Hank can try to punch the lizard with his Man Strength. Of course, it’s ineffective. I miss the Smoke Monster. Out of nowhere, giant logs start hitting the lizard in the face, knocking it out. Michael Caine appears because a) he’s awesome and b) he’s not just the narrator, he’s the grandfather, and that immediately makes this movie 10x better.At this point, I really need to pee, but they won’t pause it for me because they’re fascists. We spend the next few minutes establishing that Hank and Michael Caine don’t like each other, leading to Hank referring to him as Sean’s grandmother. I imagine this was ad-libbed by The Rock because he LOVES referring to men as women, and he couldn’t make a gay joke because it’s a family movie. Why didn’t the lizard just eat The Rock?The next day, Michael Caine takes the rest of the crew on a hike to somewhere awesome, while Sean is deciding he’s in love with the girl he met yesterday…probably because he saw the pics of her that leaked online. Hank decides to give him some tips about women. He tells him 1) NOT to follow his instincts, whatever that means; 2) be open and sensitive, cause bitches LOVE guys who are open and sensitive; 3) perform the never-funny “pec pop.” Then he makes Sean and Luis throw berries at his chest, so they can bounce off. For the record, not a single soul in the theater thought this was funny.The trek takes the crew to an abandoned city, which is probably where The Others are hiding. Lara Croft and Nathan Drake both jizzed in their pants after seeing this, then again after Michael Caine and Co. figure out that it’s Atlantis. Yes, we know that it’s usually under water, but science happened and it’s not right now. However, that’s about to change. Michael Caine says it’ll be above ground for a few more weeks, but Hank (who is clearly much smarter and has way bigger boobs) tells him they only have a couple of days. This is bad news, because they can’t transmit a radio signal for another two weeks. The good news is that Captain Nemo, who is a fictional character, left a journal that tells exactly where his 150-year-old fictional submarine is. So all we have to do is find where his body is, take the journal, find the sub, then go under the storm to get out of here. Ok.The group begins another trek across the island to find the sub (because they found the journal). At one point, they notice the island’s volcano is rumbling and ash starts to fall all around them. But the ash is gold (hence Treasure Island
). There’s no time to go mine for gold at the volcano, which breaks Luis’ heart. While they’re walking, Sean tries to complain about his parents to the chick by basically saying, “Isn’t it the worst when your parents love and care for you?” She disagrees, because she’s a rational human being. Well, they’ve gone as far as they can on foot, so I guess it’s time to fly on bees. Michael Caine says, “Mounting the bee is easy if you don’t look in its eyes,” which is probably similar to what he said about the late Bea Arthur. HEYO! Of course, flying on bees isn’t without its dangers, as the group starts being chased by a couple of birds. These aren’t the birds and the bees your mother talked to you about. HEYO! Two in a row! High five! Whatever.After a rather lengthy bee chase, Sean gets knocked off of his, and his ankle is hurt. Hank sings to him, because apparently that’s “nature’s painkiller,” and we had to give a reason or The Rock to play the ukulele and make up a song. The biggest plot twist of the film is that The Rock is holding an object in his hand, and he hasn’t threatened to insert it horizontally into someone’s rectum. Everyone goes to sleep, and when they wake up Luis has disappeared. He went to go find gold, so Michael Caine and the girl are going after him, while Sean and Hank go to find the sub.When we find Luis, he has dug out a rock of gold that’s twice his size, and he can’t budge it. His daughter tells him, “We’ll have all the wealth we’ll ever need as long as we’re together,” because she’s an idiot. Meanwhile, the stepfather-stepson duo are doing some mega-bonding by diving underwater and finding this legendary submarine. They also find a giant electric eel that’s swimming around thinking “I’M A GIANT ELECTRIC EEL AND I’M HERE TO MURDER YOU!” I’m pretty sure they’ve been underwater for about 15 minutes without coming up for a breath, but they’re clearly in great shape, so I guess it’s ok. They discover that the batteries are on the ship are dead, so they have a brilliant idea to spear the convenient electric eel. “I’M A GIANT ELECTRIC EEL AND I’M CONVENIENTLY IN THE AREA TO GIVE YOUR SUBMARINE A JUMP START! AND ALSO MURDER YOU!” So, before Hank goes fishing, Sean says, “I secretly love you, stepdad The Rock, you know in case you die.”Somehow, this ridiculous plan works, and they save the other three in the nick of time. As rocks are falling into the ocean, Hank lifts a 150-year-old torpedo (bad idea) so they can explode their way out of there. Mission accomplished.Without actually saying how everyone spends the rest of their lives, Sean gets a birthday gift from Michael Caine. It’s a book for their next adventure, and it may or may not be The Chronicles of Narnia
. Then Matthew Fox makes a surprise cameo, saying “WE HAVE TO GO BACK!” Or not.This was not a great movie, even by “Family” standards. It was ok, at best, with a lot of silliness and pretty piss-poor storytelling. You could tell Michael Caine was having a blast, though, which actually made it better, and Luis Guzman is a pretty funny guy. I don’t think Dwayne Johnson is a good actor. He’s…just…not. Every time he delivers a line, that’s exactly how it sounds. His name has value, but he’s not good enough to carry a movie. The 3D gimmick has run its course, in my opinion, and it didn’t really add anything to the presentation of this movie. I’m not going to say I was disappointed in Journey 2
, because I wasn’t really expecting much, but it definitely could have been a much better adventure film. This one gets a 3 on the Commando-meter, mostly because Michael Caine is awesome.
If this is your first time reading Disasterpiece Theatre, the Commando-meter is not a traditional star rating system. The meter fills as I watch movies, depending on how much stupid stuff happens…or how much I would rather trampled by baby elephants. An empty meter means the film was awesome. A full meter (or sometimes overflowing meter) means the movie was terrible. Easy enough, right?A lot of people have been asking for reviews of films I’ve already done. That’s ok. Below is a list of all the movies I’ve reviewed, with plenty more to come. Is there something you want to see get the Disasterpiece treatment, but it’s not on there? Leave a request in the comments, and I can almost promise I’ll get to it.Next up is Thunder in Paradise
, starring Hulk Hogan. There are three of those, but I’m not doing them back-to-back-to-back. It’s gonna be brutal. See ya Monday for Headlines.-JacobFollow me on Twitter - @chacobian. Previously, on Disasterpiece TheatreThe Wrestler
(Mickey Rourke)Suburban Commando
(Hulk Hogan)No Holds Barred
(Hulk Hogan)River of Darkness
(Kurt Angle, Kevin Nash, and Sid)Ready to Rumble
(Diamond Dallas Page and other WCW guys)See No Evil
(Triple H)The Rundown
(The Rock)House of the Rising Sun
(The Rock)Inside Out
(Triple H)The Condemned
(Steve Austin)The Marine
(John Cena)The Marine 2
(Ted DiBiase)Wrong Side of Town
(Rob Van Dam and Batista)Little Hercules in 3D
(Hulk Hogan and Big Show)They Live
(Roddy Piper)Santa’s Slay
(Bill Goldberg)Albino Farm
(Chris Jericho)Mr. Nanny
(Hulk Hogan)The Reunion
(John Cena)The Stranger
(Rey Misterio, Sr.)Doom