Movie Review: Journey 2: The Mysterious Island

Movie Review: Journey 2: The Mysterious Island

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island


PG for some adventure action and brief mild language.
Genre: Action, adventure, sci-fi, fantasy, sequel.
Running Time: 1 hour 34 minutes

Young Sean Anderson receives a coded distress signal from a mysterious island where no island should exist. It’s a place of strange life forms, mountains of gold, deadly volcanoes and more than one astonishing secret. Unable to stop him from going, Sean’s new stepfather, Hank, joins the quest to discover what is really going on. Together with a helicopter pilot and his beautiful, strong-willed daughter, they set out to find the island, rescue its lone inhabitant and then escape before seismic shock-waves force the island under the sea and bury its treasures forever.

A Sequel We Knew Would Come Sooner Or Later

It’s been a long time coming, but we knew this sequel would come one day as the first movie – Journey to The Center of The Earth from 2008 – ended with an obvious set up for Journey 2: The Mysterious Island. Josh Hutcherson is back reprising his role as young Sean Anderson in search of adventure. After heading to the Center of the Earth with his father played by Brendan Fraser in 2008, we now find Sean on a new adventure. This time it’s with his new stepfather Hank played by Dwayne Johnson.

This is one of those movies that falls into the category of – “At the time it seemed like a good idea”. 

Journey to the Center of the Earth was a fun 3D adventure. While the plot and story line was admittedly tried and true with few surprises along the way, the special effects made the movie pop. The special effects also made the somewhat poor acting skills of Brendan Fraser and Josh Hutcherson a little more bearable.

It’s sad to say that those involved with this sequel – Journey 2: The Mysterious Island – attempted to use the same cookie cutter pattern for this movie. This sequel is really nothing more than a re-make of Journey to the Center of the Earth done above ground instead of underground. The plot lines are very similar when it comes to big being small and small being big. The chase scenes are the same and the attacking animals are pretty much the same too. It’s a good thing a number of years passed between the first movie and this one or else people would be very disappointed with the similarities between the two.

I screened the movie on a regular screen and I have a feeling it is probably better in 3D. At least the special effects of the 3D would once again help a somewhat predictable plot line pop off the screen. When it comes to acting talent, Josh Hutcherson is once again lack-luster. He may have had potential in the early days of his acting career, but he does not seem to be living up to any expectations. Luis Guzman brings some comic relief to an otherwise rather laughter-less flick but Vanessa Hudgens seems to more window dressing than anything else. Dwayne Johnson, who plays stepfather Hank really needs to figure out what kind of an actor he wants to be. Then last – but certainly not least – Michael Caine who plays Alexander Anderson is really the only glimmer of hope in this movie. While it is not one of his more stellar performances, at least Caine brings a screen presence to help keep this otherwise slow moving movie along.

The bottom line is this – kids will enjoy the movie – but if you’re an older viewer looking for more substance, you will not find it in The Mysterious Island. It clocks in at just a little over an hour and a half, but I have to admit, it was a long 90 minutes.

After a review like this you may wonder why I’m giving it 3 Lloyds. I’m giving it 3 Lloyds for two reasons. First off, with a PG rating it is age appropriate for the rating. All too often Hollywood tends to miss the rating by one. But such is not the case with Journey 2: The Mysterious Island. This movie is age appropriate.

Secondly, I’m giving it 3 Lloyds because of the boy sitting in front of me watching the movie with his mother.

Even in the midst of the rude teens who were more interested in playing a game on their phone than watching the movie, this young boy sat on the edge of his seat with excitement through the whole movie. At the end of the flick he gave his Mom a hug and said “Thanks for bringing me to the movie Mom. I loved the movie and enjoyed spending time with you”. In my opinion, that’s a huge “mission accomplished” for the entertainment industry.

Enjoy the show!
Dr. Rus

About the Author

Dr. Rus has 30+ years experience in the field of communication. He takes this experience, and his passion to encourage others to positively effect their environment, when providing insight and movie reviews.