Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Journey 2 Isn't Quite Worth the Trip

Plus, Safe House and The Vow play things too safe.

by | February 10, 2012 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a jungle quest (Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Josh Hutcherson), rogue CIA agents (Safe House, starring Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds), an odd boy-meets-girl story (The Vow, starring Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum), and nascent Jedi in 3D (Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, starring Ewan McGregor and Liam Neeson). What do the critics have to say?



Journey 2: The Mysterious Island

45%

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island promises a family friendly adventure in eye-popping 3D; unfortunately, the critics say the film’s goofy charm and solid special effects are undermined by its middling script. A sequel to 2008’s Journey to the Center of the Earth, The Mysterious Island finds Sean Anderson (Josh Hutcherson) in the midst of a fantastic quest: upon receiving a cryptic message from an uncharted island, he joins forces with his stepfather Hank (Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson) to search for treasure and rescue the island’s sole occupant. The pundits say Journey 2 is pleasantly acted and inventively picturesque, but it’s short on excitement and good dialogue. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down co-star Luis Guzman’s best-reviewed movies.)



Safe House

53%

An unoriginal action movie isn’t inherently a bad action movie, though critics say Safe House has enough kinetic thrills to make them wish its plot were a little fresher. Denzel Washington stars as Tobin Frost, a rogue former CIA agent who is being held in a South African safe house. But when mercenaries attack, Frost and rookie agent Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds) go on the run to find out who ordered the hit. The pundits say Safe House is action-packed and briskly paced, but it’s also pretty predictable and short on suspense. (Check out our list of the best and worst movie CIA agents.)



The Vow

31%

What if the love of your life forgot who you were? It’s a premise ripe with dramatic possibilities, but critics say The Vow too often sticks to its boy-meets-girl (again) formula at the expense of strong performances from its appealing leads. Based upon true events, The Vow is the story of Paige (Rachel McAdams) and Leo (Channing Tatum), a young couple whose relationship is tested when Paige suffers from severe memory loss after a devastating auto accident. Can she learn to love her husband all over again? The pundits say The Vow is sincere and often moving, but it avoids most messy real-life complications in favor of melodrama.



Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (in 3D)

52%

When Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace was released in 1999, there was a disturbance in the Force: critics and audiences were divided over whether it was a bold new chapter in the Star Wars saga or a legacy-tarnishing travesty. The debate is sure to continue with the rerelease of The Phantom Menace in 3D, in which we meet young Anakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd) and Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) in the days before their paths diverge. The pundits were dazzled by the movie’s visuals but felt the heart and substance of the originals was missing; still, now’s your chance to see Episode I with fresh eyes and make up your own mind.

Also opening this week in limited release:

Tag Cloud

crime drama First Reviews politics movies TV spanish razzies Amazon Prime Rocketman BET Nominations Rocky comiccon Election aapi NYCC Fall TV Teen technology historical drama crime thriller Disney Plus Year in Review AMC Plus CBS HBO Paramount Plus natural history mcc canceled australia OneApp ESPN popular 2019 wonder woman scary movies godzilla TV One 93rd Oscars MSNBC blockbuster Comedy Central Television Critics Association Tubi scorecard RT21 A24 Elton John Image Comics festival chucky teaser 21st Century Fox DirecTV Hear Us Out sequels Music royal family fast and furious true crime screenings Infographic Neflix BBC Writers Guild of America YouTube Red Crunchyroll trailers award winner leaderboard mission: impossible spinoff cancelled cars Premiere Dates Mindy Kaling 73rd Emmy Awards unscripted Mystery genre TCA Winter 2020 Amazon Prime Video Watching Series Sundance Now independent dceu Funimation serial killer Food Network Summer diversity robots theme song Marvel Television asian-american Mary poppins Chilling Adventures of Sabrina slashers doctor who Holiday DGA TCA 71st Emmy Awards james bond Polls and Games ratings Disney+ Disney Plus nbcuniversal fresh USA Network suspense cooking The Witch WarnerMedia Alien king arthur game show casting dramedy APB Acorn TV Mudbound mutant Television Academy AMC BBC One Song of Ice and Fire marvel comics YouTube black comedy binge jamie lee curtis king kong obituary CNN Travel Channel Superheroe Creative Arts Emmys FX Drama History japanese CBS All Access dexter TV Land Crackle Podcast name the review Chernobyl HBO Go legend indie Lifetime Christmas movies cats lord of the rings kong FOX Shudder Comedy live action Tomatazos rom-coms boxoffice First Look best Avengers dogs Britbox book adaptation The Walt Disney Company PBS Reality toronto Ghostbusters jurassic park reviews Emmy Nominations Animation revenge USA TNT french Bravo Women's History Month vampires Thanksgiving sequel ITV Set visit high school cartoon Black History Month football christmas movies Character Guide PlayStation Lifetime The Arrangement marvel cinematic universe superhero Pride Month worst movies American Society of Cinematographers live event universal monsters versus Awards classics Spring TV Reality Competition Sundance south america VH1 italian TV renewals 24 frames New York Comic Con prank PaleyFest art house DC Universe spanish language Apple TV+ rt labs Kids & Family cancelled TV series a nightmare on elm street 79th Golden Globes Awards WGN Syfy archives HFPA Rock docudrama Paramount discovery joker comics indiana jones Box Office Starz Mary Poppins Returns Esquire ID halloween cults Wes Anderson ABC Signature Freeform Discovery Channel singing competition talk show cinemax renewed TV shows MCU Pixar slasher Rom-Com Star Wars Hallmark Marvel twilight hist japan war zombie franchise Video Games thriller Captain marvel Interview breaking bad halloween tv Pacific Islander Disney Channel Shondaland dark scary Musical The Academy anime hidden camera Binge Guide crime Broadway witnail comic TV movies die hard criterion 2015 elevated horror Trivia Fox Searchlight CW Seed FX on Hulu 2021 medical drama book Netflix Comic Book TBS ghosts comic book movies hispanic venice child's play Amazon Studios stand-up comedy Peacock ViacomCBS Amazon sitcom Black Mirror Photos free movies Red Carpet pirates of the caribbean 2017 Marathons Extras CMT comic book movie Legendary Instagram Live Calendar films Turner Classic Movies Epix El Rey President Certified Fresh Turner hollywood Universal Pictures Pop TV festivals Paramount Network Arrowverse gangster Adult Swim Tumblr video on demand romance movie rotten MTV Martial Arts Hollywood Foreign Press Association debate Film Best and Worst NBA Christmas IFC Films DC Comics A&E stoner canceled TV shows telelvision Horror Family Spike streaming movies cancelled TV shows Cosplay Warner Bros. YouTube Premium E! TruTV young adult biography GIFs psychological thriller adaptation new zealand Stephen King richard e. Grant spider-verse Dark Horse Comics golden globes HBO Max mob Baby Yoda science fiction news nfl social media 1990s game of thrones political drama concert hispanic heritage month Academy Awards Disney Oscars kaiju streaming docuseries Super Bowl period drama green book cops GoT dc Prime Video Film Festival blockbusters Pet Sematary emmy awards psycho tv talk what to watch Apple Marvel Studios Grammys Trophy Talk BBC America Winners X-Men mockumentary Fox News kids Disney streaming service 2018 vs. sports comedies television zombies LGBTQ Walt Disney Pictures children's TV Columbia Pictures screen actors guild reboot disaster monster movies cancelled television YA IFC RT History SDCC GLAAD romantic comedy The CW Cartoon Network new star wars movies Anna Paquin saw know your critic video TCM biopic golden globe awards quibi police drama Trailer Universal nature travel target international Holidays Lionsgate new york FXX stop motion Musicals Toys all-time NBC Masterpiece ABC Vudu facebook basketball comic books animated BAFTA Opinion Country Heroines 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards deadpool harry potter TCA 2017 National Geographic TIFF Ovation E3 parents spain foreign Lucasfilm rt archives toy story Tokyo Olympics Sneak Peek batman Logo SXSW ABC Family Western LGBT Endgame werewolf Netflix Christmas movies sopranos SundanceTV Hulu San Diego Comic-Con critic resources directors action-comedy documentary remakes TCA Awards composers space Quiz critics Winter TV olympics based on movie Comics on TV Star Trek transformers Hallmark Christmas movies Schedule Mary Tyler Moore 99% sag awards 45 VICE scene in color Biopics Cannes crossover adventure boxing rotten movies we love OWN 20th Century Fox Pirates Sony Pictures women adenture Spectrum Originals 2020 latino Brie Larson feel good Apple TV Plus Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt satire Fargo aliens blaxploitation Tags: Comedy Sundance TV Fantasy Awards Tour The Walking Dead posters Nat Geo finale spy thriller BET Awards Exclusive Video VOD Tarantino Countdown See It Skip It series strong female leads Valentine's Day Classic Film 72 Emmy Awards Showtime Action 007 Emmys spider-man dragons 4/20 documentaries Ellie Kemper zero dark thirty rt labs critics edition 2016 anthology justice league Superheroes Comic-Con@Home 2021 IMDb TV superman miniseries laika dreamworks trophy DC streaming service The Purge supernatural heist movie Nickelodeon black 90s Pop worst TLC Sci-Fi