Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Going on a Journey 2...

No, I haven't descended into textspeak (hate it!), but Warner Brothers sent us to the cinema to see Journey 2: The Mysterious Island in 3D, which went on general release last weekend. Now, I had never been to see a proper 3D film before, although the rest of the family had been once or twice before. Monkey was surprisingly reticent about going, because he'd seen trailers and knew it was a bit scary.

I've always shied away from 3D films, partly because I am heavily influenced by all the Mayo and Kermode film reviews and Mark Kermode clearly doesn't like 3D. His argument is that it adds nothing to the story and therefore doesn't add to the overall experience. So, I thought, we'll see.

Not being the one that generally takes the children to the cinema, I had never heard of the Journey films before. I assume the number 2 meant it was a sequel but husband told me that he thought it wasn't. I guess he thought it was some form of terrible textspeak but on looking it up, it certainly is a sequel to Journey to the Centre of the Earth but that the only character appearing in both films was Josh Hutcherson, playing Sean. This time, Sean receives a radio signal from his explorer grandad played by Michael Caine that he has found the Mysterious Island written about by Jules Verne and helped by his stepfather (played by The Rock aka Dwayne Johnson), he locates it to being near the Pacific island of Palau. They go to Palau and find a helicopter, flown by Luis Guzmán with his daughter, played by Vanessa Hudgens, to take them onto the island. The story follows what happens when they get to the island and find Sean's grandfather.

The Mysterious Island
It's fair to say we all enjoyed the film.There is a lot of CGI so it looks beautiful and obviously the 3D made it an interesting experience. The film is rated a PG, which means that they say it should be fine for over 8s. Mine were fine with it, although they did find a few things a little scary but not to the point of being scared to death or reduced to tears. Monkey hid behind his coat a few times but actually, I think he was enjoying being scared! There were as many giggles as there were frightened reactions. Certainly, I would not take very young children nor any that are sensitive or not used to the cinema and because of the nature of 3D, you really do think that things are heading for you, which a young child might not understand.

Michael Caine was Michael Caine. (Does he play anyone else?) I do actually like him - two of my  favourite films of all time are Get Carter! and The Italian Job, although he does seem to be roughly the same character in every film, just in different situations. As for The Rock, well, he did a good job, but I spent a lot of time wondering if this film had been built around him - like a window display for his many talents as some of the scenes seemed to be set up entirely to show how great he was at various things and it made me suspicious that this was a "vehicle" film.

As for the 3D, I did enjoy it/ Kermode is right in that it doesn't add anything to the story. However, it does add to the overall experience and makes it more memorable. Yes, I would have enjoyed the film without it, but certainly I remembered various things all the more for them seeming to come out at me at various points. Monkey almost ducked twice too! I feel churlish not having seen a 3D film before but then, I remember that it should have cost £30; which personally, I feel is very expensive for something that is over in a couple of hours. Had we bought drinks and popcorn, we would have easily spent £50 for all of us. People just don't have that sort of money to spend regularly on going to the cinema; perhaps cinema is becoming the sole preserve of the affluent? Saddens me that this might be the case because it is a great experience. There are cheap deals - we use them a lot - but they rarely, if ever, show 3D and it is not something you can easily replicate at home either.

Rant over... I think families with children a similar age to Monkey and Missy Woo or slightly older would enjoy this. It is a nice piece of escapism and if you need something to fill a rainy afternoon. especially over half term, it'll do the job perfectly, if a little hard on the pocket.

(Warner Brothers sent us a gift card so that we could go to see Journey 2: The Mysterious Island at our local cinema. I have not received any further compensation for this post, I have not been told what to write and all words and opinions are my own.)
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