Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (2012)

Having transcribed part of a mysterious transmission that his equipment can barely begin to grapple with, budding Vernian Sean Andersson (Josh Hutcherson) breaks into a nearby scientific facility in search of a bigger satellite, believing his missing grandfather (Michael Caine) to be behind the encoded message. Arrested shortly after, Sean is saved a stint in juvenile detention by the intervention of his step father. Eager to form a relation with his new wife’s son, Hank (Dwayne Johnson) offers to help decode, triangulate and go in search of the transmission’s origins. Hitching a ride on Gabato (Luis Guzmán) and daughter Kailani (Venessa Hudgens)’s private helicopter, they set off in pursuit of Jules Verne’s Mysterious Island.

There is very little onscreen to directly tie Journey 2: The Mysterious Island to previous instalment Journey to the Centre of the Earth. Despite falling through a hole in the Earth’s crust, being attacked by prehistoric piranha and chased relentlessly by a hungry Giganotosaurus, Sean Andersson – the only returning character, outlasting Brendan Fraser – doesn’t seem to have much to say about his previous experiences, preferring instead to rebel against his new guardians and drive his motorbike into a stranger’s swimming pool. In essence, however, the similarities are clear.

It’s important to state that Brad Peyton’s Journey 2 is not a great movie, it’s barely an OK movie. The plot, such that it is, is essentially a series of loosely interconnected set pieces designed to get our budding stereotypes from A to B, with a line in character development that has been walked into the ground and with an ensemble serving the plot rather than the other way around. Will father and son make amends? Will the love interests get a room already? Will the ethnic character get everybody killed with his stupidity? That said, we’re out of awards season, and, frankly, it’s time to talk about something other than Kevin. Giant bees? Well why not.

Drown the logical side of your brain in postmix and there is a lot of fun to be had with this nuts and bolts adventure movie. Dwayne Johnson is, as usual, a compelling screen presence as Sean’s try-hard, jack-of-all-trades step-father. By turns navigator, singer, expert on soil liquefaction and able to pilot an abandoned ancient submarine, The Rock openly welcomes laughs of embarrassment as he pops his pecs and raises his eyebrow. Caine too engages as the show-offy adventurer, the film at its best when the two are trading verbal slights. Hutcherson, meanwhile, spends most of the film on autopilot, his boy sidekick a far cry from the maturer role he made his own in The Kids Are All Right (or even Bridge to Terabithia), while Hudgens goes some way to make her character in High School Musical seem rich and layered.

Silly, slapdash and unlikely to warrant further discussion, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island is nevertheless a hugely affable way to spend and hour and a half, boasting some great visuals and a wittier-than-necessary script. Carried gamely by Johnson, you will believe that a giant bee-mounted former wrestler can fly.

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About popcornaddiction
I am a psychology graduate, a News Writer for HeyUGuys/BestforFilm and, most importantly, a hopeless popcorn addict.

3 Responses to Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (2012)

  1. Pingback: FILM NEWS: Renfrew Street To Offer Good Vibrations « popcornaddict

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  3. Pingback: Home Entertainment Releases – May 28, 2012 « popcornaddict

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