Journey 2: The Mysterious Island FILM REVIEW
The only thing missing is a smoke monster
The cast had all mastered the art of pretending to look at something too interesting to be in the publicity photos.
Release Date: 3 February 2012
PG * 94 minutes
Distributor: Warner Bros Pictures
Director: Brad Peyton
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Michael Caine, Josh Hutcherson, Vanessa Hudgens
“I can’t believe we made it,” gasps Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, as he washes up on the shore of Jules Verne’s legendary mysterious island after a hurricane and helicopter crash strand him there for 94 minutes of 3D fun. “It’s Jules Verne, man,” drawls his stepson, Sean (Josh Hutcherson). “You gotta believe…”
While we’re not sure you’ll actually end up believing any of this nonsense, you will probably find yourself cracking a grin at this film’s likeable cast, deliberately lame jokes and bonkers setpieces – the weirdest being the sight of humans riding bees through a jungle while being chased by birds, a cheeky homage to Return Of The Jedi‘s speeder chase.
Picking up a year after Journey To The Centre Of The Earth – which saw Sean exploring our planet’s bowels alongside Brendan Fraser – Journey 2: The Mysterious Island tackles another of Jules Verne’s iconic fantasies, this time throwing in nods to Treasure Island, Gulliver’s Travels and 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea to boot.
Trapped on the mysterious island are the now nearly grown-up Sean, his stepdad Hank (Johnson), pilot Gabato (Luis Guzman) and Gabato’s daughter Kailani (Vanessa Hudgens), who Sean falls immediately in love with because he’s a teenage boy and she has boobs. Naturally, she hates him, but once he’s saved her life… well, you know the drill.
Johnson puts aside his ego and his dignity to become the butt of most of the movie’s jokes – he even plays a tiny ukulele and sings! – while Michael Caine is amazingly cheerful as Sean’s long-lost explorer grandfather, probably thrilled to bits to be working in Hawaii. Filmed on Oahu, home of Lost, the lush jungles and beautiful mountains really pop in 3D, and there’s some glorious production design to make the island seem even prettier: not least the discovery of a certain lost city hidden in its depths.
With Johnson’s affable presence, impressive monsters and an action-packed script designed to mesmerise kids with miniscule attention spans, Journey 2 is a jolly good adventure let down only by an overload of Americanisms (“That is so sick!”) and a predictable plot. Sure, its silliness may try the patience of many adults, but in the words of Marty McFly, “Your kids are gonna love it.”
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Watch a trailer for Journey 2: The Mysterious Island.
Watch a featurette about Journey 2: The Mysterious Island.