Journey 2: The Mysterious Island Directed by: Brad Peyton Cast: Josh Hutcherson, Dwayne Johnson, Michael Caine, Luis Guzmán, Vanessa Hudgens Running Time: 1 hr 34 mins Rating: PG Release Date: February 10, 2012
PLOT: Sean Anderson (Hutcherson) reluctantly teams up with his mom's boyfriend (Johnson) to find his grandfather (Caine), who Sean thinks went missing on a mythical island.
WHO'S IT FOR? Young boys and girls who are seeking an average adventure movie. You don't have to love the classic tales of "The Mysterious Island," "Treasure Island" and "Gulliver's Travels," but perhaps there is a chance your child will want to read one of these books after the film.
First, I need to admit something to you. I didn't study 2008's Journey to the Center of the Earth like a sacred scroll. I do remember it being quality 3D for its time, which seems odd to say since we're only talking three and a half years ago. I went back to read my review and the details came flooding back. The formula goes like this ... Find something awesome, and as soon as you do, start running away from it. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island follows that pattern, but doesn't add anything else to it.
Sean is the only carry over from the 2008 film. I can't count his mom Liz (played by Kristen Davis), because this story realizes there is once again no place for mom in this adventure. Sean is all grown up, or at least he thinks he is. He'll break the law for another adventure, and he doesn't care if Hank (Johnson) has an opinion on the matter. Hank, very conveniently, is a code-breaker, and now the two of them are going halfway around the world to bond. I know, it's very loose, but at least we don't spend too much time in reality with this film, now let's get to the fantasy.
As soon as we get to the island, which admittedly is mysterious, it starts to sink. So, we've got to go. I forgot to mention Sean's grandfather Alexander (Michael Caine) is on the island. Perhaps I forgot to mention this because Caine seems to barely care. His character exists to argue with Hank. Hank is more than happy to do the same. I have no idea what these two are arguing about and why the film seems to think it's so clever. Speaking of clever (I'm being sarcastic), Luis Guzmán is our comic relief. He plays Gabato, the helicopter pilot desperate to send his daughter (Hudgens) to college. Hudgens plays the teenage eye candy. Guzmán has been great in other roles, but here his "wacky" is turned way up. To pass the time, I decided Gabato was gay and in love with Hank. Nothing on the screen told me otherwise (not that there's anything wrong with that).
Side tangent: Maybe you don't remember this, but Jennifer Aniston's nipples were consistently present during "Friends" episodes. They were desperately trying to poke through her top, never able to succeed. It was something that the producers and Aniston must have been aware of. I bring this up because there is never a second when Johnson's nipples aren't at full attention. Why? I don't see how this is part of Johnson's charm.
The good that I saw in this film had to do with Hutcherson and that I could see him turn into a fairly decent action star. The plot of Journey 2 consists of so many maybe/could be/perhaps moments, and yet all of them turn out to be 100 percent correct. That doesn't lead to suspense, but instead boredom. In 2008, cutting edge 3D was something worth seeing, even within an average movie. Journey 2 doesn't have that luxury. Watching berries bounce off of Johnson's chest doesn't cut it for me.
FINAL SCORE: 4/10