Journey 2: The Mysterious Island

This movie is a visual babysitter for the kids, and if they like buckets full of poop and giant bees, so be (bee?) it.
Our Rating

Genre(s): Adventure, Family, Fantasy

Director: Brad Peyton

Actors: Dwayne Johnson, Michael Caine, Josh Hutcherson, Luis Guzmán, Vanessa Hudgens, Kristin Davis

Year: 2012

MPAA Rating: PG

Country: USA

I can only imagine that the inventors of 3D would have been so pleased one of the more unique ways that Journey 2: The Mysterious Island uses the technology. Watch with awe and delight as Josh Hutcherson tosses berry after berry at the flexing pecs of Dwayne Johnson, which then bounce right out of the screen and into the open mouths of the audience. Magic!

For the most part, Journey 2, like most other modern movies jumping onto the 3D bandwagon (which usually defaults to vomit-inducing roller-coaster action), sticks to crowd-pleasing visual stunts like the actors riding gigantic bees through a jungle, or getting pooped on with a bucket-sized splash from a giant bird. This is the kind of movie where any sort of plot depth is not required, despite being loosely based on the more clever source of Jules Verne.

Since Journey to the Center of the Earth, Sean (Josh Hutcherson) has grown up a bit. Apparently everyone around him from the other movie has actually grown out of the franchise, as he is the lone holdout from the previous film—even his mom Liz has morphed from Jane Wheeler to that nice Kristin Davis. Anyway, mom has a new husband named Hank (Dwayne Johnson) whom Sean just does not like. But within minutes, grumpy teen Sean is finally bonding with Hank over their ultra-quick solving of a mysterious island mystery that they are able to decipher by ripping pages out of old books (oh, the horror!). See, missing adventurer Grandpa Alexander (Michael Caine) is on said island, and Sean has to go get him!

The whole movie is one non-stop adventure involving crashing helicopters, giant (and tiny) mysterious animals, gold-spewing volcanos, and a very mysterious sinking island way off in the South Pacific. Along for the ride this time are Luis Guzmán as bonafide comic relief, and Vanessa Hudgens as a chemistry-free love interest for the all-growed up Sean. The movie is harmless if very shallow fun. Unsurprisingly, all the effort is put into having cool visuals, like the flora and fauna and Captain Nemo’s Nautilus submarine. But that’s OK. This movie isn’t for discerning adults. This movie is a visual babysitter for the kids, and if they like buckets full of poop and giant bees, so be (bee?) it.


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