17-year-old Sean (Josh Hutcherson) receives a coded distress signal from a mysterious island - a place of bizarre and dangerous life forms, deadly volcanoes and astonishing secrets! Unable to stop him, Sean's stepfather (Dwayne Johnson) joins the quest. Together with a helicopter pilot (Luis Guzman) and his beautiful, strong-willed daughter (Vanessa Hudgens), they set out to find the island, rescue its lone human inhabitant and escape before seismic shockwaves swallow the island and bury its treasures forever.
Based on the emasculation of several stories by Journey to the Centre of the Earth’s Jules Verne Journey 2: the Mysterious Island is the second fantastical adventure to take place in Sean Anderson’s (Josh Hutcherson) young life.
Where Hutcherson originally journeyed to the centre of the earth with his father in 2008’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth he teams up this time with his mother’s new boyfriend, played by wrestler turned actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, to search for his estranged Grandfather, Alexander (Michael Caine).
It turns out that Hutchersons Granddad has been trapped on a secret island that can’t be found on a map and seems only to be accessible via an almost military grade high-tech helicopter (that promptly crashes). Once on the island Hutcherson and his guardian discover what makes it so “mysterious”: the rules of nature and evolution seem not to apply here, elephants are no longer the giant and graceful beasts we would recognise, whilst the insects on the island are more akin to dinosaurs than minute nuisances. Imagine an elephant that can fit in the palm of your hand, and a grasshopper big enough to eat you, these are the wonders and dangers that Hutcherson faces on his search for his Grandfather.
That is until he finds him, then they all have to escape the island before it is totally engulfed by the sea.
The number of suped up visual chase scenes and general special effects – from the giant bugs to the 3D cinematic release – make Journey 2 stink of Hollywood franchising for the sake of making a quick buck. The story is weak, the acting is less than average (though not completely abysmal) and the inherent family friendly message is obvious, flimsy and emotionally dead.
You rated this film: 5
Alyse Garner - Cinema Paradiso
Parental Guidance - general viewing but some scenes may be unsuitable for young children