A loose and lousy sequel to 2008’s “Journey to the Center of the Earth,” “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” ruins Jules Verne for a whole new generation. The sole holdover is Josh Hutcherson once again playing Sean Anderson, probably because other than “The Kids Are Alright” he hasn’t done much since the first film. Also present is Micheal Cain just seemingly obeying his credo to turn nothing down; a still frigging HUGE Dwayne Johnson (but who still can barely act); Luis Guzmán playing the same character he’s played for most of his career; an unnecessary Kristin Davis; and Vanessa Hudgens’ strangely in-your-face bosom and inappropriately low-rise shorts for a PG rated movie.
The acting is barely passable, probably because the one-liner dialogue is so predictable and cheesy. The near-constant background music serves to both fill in the lack of coherence and to push the viewer in a given direction. The story moves unsatisfyingly fast with no time for any kind of tension to be released; no sooner is a problem introduced than its solution is found. No sooner do we get to the mysterious island then we find we have to leave it. No sooner do our young heroes meet then there’s supposedly a romantic spark between them. No sooner do Cain and Johnson meet and they share some weird mutual disdain. One or two of the 3D effects are well done, but most are just silly, as are the asides of the Rock’s infamous peck-popping, his singing, or badly-timed serious moments amidst the CGI distractions. Meanwhile the story surrounding each by-wrote set piece is so gutless it’s almost painful to watch, pretending that the characters are in any kind of danger, or that there will be any consequences whatsoever. Moreover, the movie is annoyingly inconsistent with itself; mindlessly dumbed down so that explanations, rescues, romances, and character motivations and developments don’t make sense. This movie is a blatant money-grab with a built-in sequel to boot, and nothing more.
Overall Score for “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” from Rich Bonaduce: D
“Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” is rated PG for some adventure action, and brief mild language.
Directed by: Brad Peyton
Written by: Brian Gunn (screenplay), Mark Gunn (screenplay), Richard Outten (story), Brian Gunn (story), Mark Gunn (story), and Jules Verne (novel)