Not many kids get to enjoy a Vernian-style adventure once in their lifetime, but in a span of less than five years, Sean Anderson (Josh Hutcherson) gets in on two, thanks to the adventure-seeking members of his father’s family. He is really not enjoying his move to Dayton, Ohio (oops! Since when to palm trees grow in Dayton?) and his mind is preoccupied with finding Jules Verne’s “Mysterious Island”. Considering that this is the kid who travelled from a dead Icelandic volcano to a live one in Italy by trekking and sailing under the earth itself, finding this island might be quite a feat to add to his list. He gets a code from the HAM radio, and he is sure it is his grandfather telling him where the island is. After finding out the code with some help from his stepfather, Hank (Dwayne Johnson), whom was a codebreaker in the Navy, they find the coordinates to the island, which puts it near the island of Palau, and they fear that Grandpa Alexander (Micheal Caine) might be in trouble. Sean gets Hank’s permission to go to Palau and search for the island, so long as Hank goes along with him.
When they make it to Palau, they find it difficult to hire a guide, since the seas are really rough where they want to go, but one desperate guide, Gabato (Luis Guzmán) hears how much is being offered and jumps into to take the job. At first Hank and Sean are awed when they see the yacht they will be sailing in, but Gabato Tours does not sail. They fly, and they fly a very well-worn chopper. Gabato Tours is a two-person operation run by Gabato, and his pretty brunette daughter, Kailani (Vanessa Hudgens). Once Sean sees Kailani, he hires Gabato on the spot, and then they head out to sea.
The seas could not be any rougher when they fly through a cloud bank and see many waterspouts churning around an island. It was right where all those adventure writers from the 18th and 19th century said it would be. What a place it is! Mother Nature has been using this place as her experimental lab. There is a volcano that spews gold, insects as big as elephants, and elephants are like cuddly small dogs. Even the marine life is topsy turvy, as sharks are no bigger than goldfish. This island is also the resting place of Atlantis, and it sinks every 140 years. Not a good time for the Andersons and Gabatos to visit, as this cycle is almost up, and the water table is rising, very quickly. The only way to get back to Palau is to find that wonderful piece of steampunk Hindi tech, Captain Nemo’s Nautalis. This one great family adventure film that never stops when it comes to action, and that was when I saw it in 2D. Can’t wait to get the glasses on.
There are many versions of this tale put to film but this modern version is one of the better ones, and gives us an itch to look back into those books from the late 1800s once again to see what script might be give to us again.
I give this film a Musing review of