1. Ryan Gosling in Stay (2005) with Naomi Watts
2. Naomi Watts in King Kong (2005) with Kyle Chandler
3. Kyle Chandler in Super 8 (2011) with Bruce Greenwood
4. Bruce Greenwood in Firehouse Dog (2007) with Josh Hutcherson
5. Josh Hutcherson in Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (2012)
There’s a moment in Journey 2: The Mysterious Island when The Rock is attempting to show Josh Hutcherson (Peeta in the upcoming adaptation of The Hunger Games) how to “woo” a Vanessa Hudgens-type (played by Vanessa Hudgens). Hutcherson throws a berry at The Rock’s pecs, and the berry flies out into the audience. Is the movie self-aware? Is that what this scene is about? Or was this The Rock being “wacky” and improvising? That’s a question I asked myself during the whole movie. The movie doesn’t know if it wants to let loose and be self-aware, or if it just wants to keep trying really, really hard to thrill its audience.
I enjoyed the hell out of the first entry in this updated Jules Verne series when it arrived in 2008 (Journey to the Center of the Earth), but what I appreciated the most about it was its carefully-constructed action sequences. One in particular that I remember finds the movie’s characters dangling off of levitating rocks, which looked spectacular in 3D. The movie wasn’t smart in the least, but at least it knew what it was, and it was good at it.
From its strange and very eclectic cast (two up-and-coming teen stars, a pro wrestler and Michael Caine) to its bland action sequences, the problem with Journey 2 is that it needs to decide what it wants to be. There may have been a few fleeting moments when I was actually swept up in some of the creature feature 3D, but the movie is forgettable as a whole.
When The Rock shows Hutcherson the “pec pop of love,” Hutcherson’s immediate reaction is “What is that?!?” Indeed. What is this movie.