Review: Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (2012)

This movie is a so-called sequel for Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008). Hitting the screens in 3D, the movie’s based on yet another Verne story: The Mysterious Island.

I say so-called because the story is completely different and the only character from the first film to appear in this one is Sean Anderson, played by Josh Hutcherson. You don’t have to watch the 2008 film to understand this one.

Brendan Fraser didn’t reprise his role as Trevor Anderson, but got replaced by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, as Sean’s stepfather. Jane Wheeler was also replaced, by Kristin Davis ( SAtC’s Charlotte) playing Sean’s mother, Liz.

The story is at times, if not all of the time, predictable. Sean gets a coded message from his grandfather (Michael Caine), telling him that “the island is real” and providing him with clues to find it. With the help of his stepfather, Hank, he sets out to find the Mysterious Island. They hire two guides to fly them to the island, Gabato (Luiz Guzman) and his daughter Kailani (Vanessa Hudgens).

While at first Sean can’t stand Hank, teen angst whatever, by the end of the movie they’re best friends. He also falls in love with the beautiful, but not initially interested, Kailani. Story wise you can really see it coming a mile away. Nothing new, nothing original.

The movie does manage to steal a few laughs with its jokes (the pec pop of love), but not nearly enough to make this a “good” comedy film. However, one very enjoyable part is the banter between Hank and Alexander, the grandfather. Michael Caine is great, as great as his role permits and Johnson doesn’t do a bad job either.

Hutcherson doesn’t impress in any major way, except for maybe the action scenes – running through the woods while being chased by a giant lizard. The man does that good! Maybe it’s all that training for the Hunger Games. Anyway.

Despite being a fluff movie, there are reasons you should watch this movie. The visual effects, the animations, the sets, they’re all terrific. Brad Peyton (i.e. the director) managed to bring alive The Mysterious Island. It’s beautiful, colorful, perfect. The movie’s fun to watch in 3D.

Nothing new under the sun, but a pretty movie to watch.

Oh, right. Towards the very end of the movie, there’s definite hints at another sequel, Journey 3: From the Earth to the Moon. The production has been green-lit and it’s supposed to premiere in 2014. Both Hutcherson and Johnson will reprise their roles.

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