Journey 2: The Mysterious Island

Leagues Below Jules Verne


10 February 2012| No Comments on Journey 2: The Mysterious Island     by Sean Chavel


At least it’s short and with a forward momentum. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island is acceptable family fare that isn’t going to propel our imaginations to any magnificent heights. Not if you’ve already seen the likes of “Jurassic Park” and “King Kong.” Younger kids maybe haven’t. You might be wondering something else though, like what’s with the “2” in the title. This happens to be a sequel to “Journey to the Center of the Earth” (2008), both loose modern updates of the literary adventures by Jules Verne. Only brooding teen Josh Hutcherson returns (he’s minus Brendan Fraser), and has a new uncle in Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, distinguished for “popping his pecs.” Luis Guzman is the hapless tour guide, Vanessa Hudgens is the eye candy daughter, and Michael Caine is the guileless adventurer.

Nobody has seen the island in ages, but Hutcherson is the teen adventurer – and sulky know-it-all – who has decoded coordinates of the island that rests somewhere in the South Pacific. Caine, as Uncle Alexander, has festooned on the island for ages. Uncle Alexander is sporty enough to fend off giant lizards, able to ride on giant bees, and dodge volcanic eruptions. Caine shows the others how it’s done. This is the kind of movie though where The Rock and Michael Caine, designated to hate each other before respective camaraderie is shared, to trade off insults (Caine gets defiled as “grandma,” “old lady,” and “Mary Poppins”).

Accompanying 3D effects add nothing, except one cool shot (the dimness of the 3D glasses takes away the bright colors). While the little moviegoers might be stunned throughout, only a gigantic moray eel will be spine-tingling to adult sensibilities. Dialogue, as hinted at, is dumbed down for worldwide audiences. And hints point toward another sequel, promising something of a moonshot. But as for this Part 2, it has all the march-on continuity and formula of a board game.

94 Minutes. Rated PG.


Film Cousins: “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” (1989); “Zathura: A Space Adventure” (2005); “City of Ember” (2008); “Journey to the Center of the Earth” (2008).

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Sean Chavel

About The Author / Sean Chavel

Sean Chavel is a Hollywood based author and movie reviewer. He is the Executive Director of, a new website that has adapted the movie review site genre by introducing moodbased and movie experience based reviews.


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