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Ham Radio in Hollywood: Amateur Radio a Plot Point in Major Motion Picture

01/03/2012

According to previews, the plot of the movie Journey 2: The Mysterious Island -- set to be released February 10 -- hinges on Amateur Radio. The movie’s hero Sean Anderson (played by Josh Hutcherson) receives a coded distress signal that comes from a mysterious island where no island should exist. Sean decides to follow the signal with the unwilling assistance from his stepfather Hank (played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson).

Sean explains to Hank why he wants to hunt down the signal: “A few nights ago, a radio signal got sent out from these coordinates. It could be the mysterious island that Jules Verne wrote about.”

Hank replies: “You think you’re gonna travel halfway around the world and meet up with some lunatic who’s messing around on a ham radio?”

“That’s not some lunatic,” Sean says. “That’s my grandfather.”

Other than this mention of “ham radio,” it is not yet known how Amateur Radio will be featured in the movie.

Together, Sean and Hank fly out to a tropical island to begin their quest. There, they meet up with Gabato (a helicopter pilot played by Luis Guzman) and his daughter Kailani (played by Vanessa Hudgens). The group sets out to find the island, where they find the island’s lone human inhabitant: Sean’s grandfather (played by Michael Caine). For a while, the five enjoy the wonders of the island -- the lost world of Atlantis -- but soon, seismic shockwaves begin destroying this rediscovered world. They must escape before the island is forced under the sea and its treasures are buried forever.

In the summer of 2011, two movies featured Amateur Radio: Mr Poppers Penguins and Super 8. While it was exciting to see ham radio on the big screen, there were inaccuracies in its portrayal, ranging from incorrect frequencies to the wrong equipment being used. Radio amateurs are holding out high hopes for Last Man Standing, a new situation comedy that currently airs on Tuesday nights on ABC. The ARRL has been working closely with Last Man Standing producer John Amodeo, NN6JA, to ensure that Amateur Radio will be portrayed correctly.

You can watch the trailer for Journey 2: The Mysterious Island here.



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