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)

53%

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

dceu animated Trophy Talk Black Mirror Grammys mutant Quiz Hulu Comedy green book Mystery BBC children's TV Reality Warner Bros. E3 007 NBC 2020 Apple dramedy composers docudrama anthology Marathons 2016 facebook IFC Films Anna Paquin criterion Emmys sitcom Mary Tyler Moore golden globes Ovation Disney streaming service zero dark thirty Mary Poppins Returns Trailer joker NYCC Pop toy story zombies The Walking Dead DC Universe indiana jones Endgame harry potter robots Film Walt Disney Pictures Tumblr dogs foreign binge GoT Shudder sag awards Britbox christmas movies Mudbound Tarantino El Rey unscripted crime Classic Film diversity San Diego Comic-Con Action witnail Paramount 21st Century Fox Marvel Television See It Skip It National Geographic HBO Kids & Family ESPN franchise SDCC First Look Rock E! Teen slashers Sundance Now DGA disaster aliens X-Men child's play Disney+ Disney Plus TCA Winter 2020 travel Photos Academy Awards based on movie The Witch TCA 2017 tv talk cancelled adaptation APB politics Masterpiece space Song of Ice and Fire Emmy Nominations Sundance Awards Tour YouTube Premium game of thrones Travel Channel 2019 supernatural Rom-Com Star Wars Pride Month Marvel Studios Lifetime Christmas movies Thanksgiving Peacock period drama teaser The CW 71st Emmy Awards Valentine's Day Sony Pictures Awards Ghostbusters Countdown Tubi romance GIFs Oscars documentary Stephen King transformers Funimation Logo halloween Paramount Network 20th Century Fox Extras historical drama Animation Schedule OWN PaleyFest directors serial killer Infographic Biopics BBC One technology nature Amazon Character Guide Lucasfilm Creative Arts Emmys VH1 BET mission: impossible Country cancelled TV shows science fiction werewolf comiccon Chernobyl Comics on TV Year in Review President Sneak Peek Universal Elton John parents cooking singing competition Mindy Kaling Comedy Central Horror Holidays Acorn TV Freeform comedies Hear Us Out stoner boxoffice Reality Competition Showtime festivals latino WGN Lifetime Food Network concert movies CBS All Access American Society of Cinematographers Lionsgate award winner Martial Arts police drama critics Box Office Holiday screenings Video Games Netflix Christmas movies Television Critics Association Election what to watch psychological thriller PBS Sci-Fi USA Network cults universal monsters Brie Larson USA series films elevated horror Pirates Adult Swim richard e. Grant DirecTV TV canceled TV shows 2017 breaking bad Superheroes Rocky The Arrangement vampires political drama Red Carpet spider-man ABC Family TCA natural history Watching Series sports renewed TV shows Starz FX free movies Western hist ghosts adventure medical drama TruTV Fox News Disney die hard scary movies ratings CBS all-time Black History Month Shondaland TNT cars Arrowverse spain Nat Geo Baby Yoda TV Land spy thriller HBO Go Cartoon Network Rocketman LGBTQ Disney Channel FXX miniseries CNN Avengers Music Apple TV+ discovery documentaries 2015 ITV blaxploitation zombie dragons theme song Fall TV Hallmark Esquire Mary poppins canceled Amazon Prime 4/20 crime drama DC Comics Winter TV romantic comedy cartoon CW Seed Cannes Spike kids mockumentary independent finale Opinion Trivia Film Festival news Amazon Prime Video Spectrum Originals Superheroe doctor who PlayStation BAFTA spanish language crossover TV renewals cinemax Calendar Hallmark Christmas movies RT21 Disney Plus quibi RT History batman Marvel best YouTube Red justice league The Purge Drama MTV ABC Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Television Academy Tomatazos TLC Musicals asian-american Captain marvel A&E revenge spinoff Amazon Studios 24 frames GLAAD crime thriller dark thriller book Vudu cats blockbuster Cosplay VICE Ellie Kemper Nickelodeon biography FX on Hulu VOD Netflix Comic Book Binge Guide Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Musical 2018 First Reviews movie AMC History HBO Max Toys Syfy indie Pop TV anime Premiere Dates BBC America hispanic streaming stand-up comedy Podcast casting MSNBC Nominations TBS YA YouTube cops comics sequel jamie lee curtis reviews cancelled television TCM Turner Classic Movies DC streaming service LGBT Summer CMT FOX New York Comic Con Winners Bravo Set visit dc Columbia Pictures Pet Sematary Spring TV true crime rotten movies we love MCU IFC Fantasy SundanceTV game show BET Awards Writers Guild of America Star Trek 45 satire Epix Crackle SXSW strong female leads OneApp video chucky versus Dark Horse Comics Women's History Month talk show war Sundance TV name the review Turner a nightmare on elm street Discovery Channel A24 Polls and Games south america cancelled TV series reboot TIFF Super Bowl Family Crunchyroll WarnerMedia psycho Interview screen actors guild comic Heroines Certified Fresh television Pixar video on demand Best and Worst Christmas twilight Apple TV Plus TCA Awards social media