Journey 2 Cast, Plot, Review and Much More
With Captain Nemo’s Nautilus as evidence, “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” resembles nothing so much as one of those live-action Disney productions from the 1950s. Additionally, I believe I heard of a tree house designed to bring “Swiss Family Robinson” into disrepute that includes a short-wave radio built from recycled spoons.
We catch up with young Sean Anderson (Josh Hutcherson), who is now a little older and getting into all kinds of trouble, in this Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D sequel. Sean’s mom (Kristin Davis) and step-dad Hank (Dwayne Johnson) struggle to get him to explain why he’s acting out, but Hank eventually succeeds in learning the truth: Sean is attempting to solve the mystery of his missing grandfather, Alexander Anderson (Michael Caine), who went looking for a legendary island.
Sean and Hank collaborate to decipher an Alexander message using the heroic legends of Jules Verne, Robert Lewis Stevenson, and Jonathan Swift as inspiration. Sean quickly sets his sights on the island of Palau as the next step in finding his grandfather, and Hank chooses to accompany the trip in an effort to build a relationship with the youngster and/or quell his curiosity.
Hank and Sean visit Palau where they meet Gabato, a helicopter tour guide, and his daughter Kailani (Vanessa Hudgens). Kailani is so attractive that Sean decides to take a risky flight in her rusted helicopter into the eye of a hurricane, which also happens to be hiding the entrance to the enigmatic island. The group searches for Alexander after being (crash-)landed on the island. They then seek a way off the mysterious isle before it slides back into the water and carries them with it.
Journey 2 Cast
- Dwayne Johnson as Hank
- Michael Caine as Alexander
- Josh Hutcherson as Sean
- Luis Guzmán as Gabato
- Vanessa Hudgens as Kailani
- Kristin Davis as Liz
- Anna Colwell as Jessica
- Stephen Caudill as Cop
Journey 2 Review
Though they don’t have much to work with, the cast is solid in theory. The Rock is skilled at beating things up and charming people, but his portrayal of a boring, loving stepfather is a last-ditch effort. He does get to play the ukulele, which is very bizarre to witness, but it would be better to wait till the moment is captured in one of the several YouTube films that will undoubtedly follow. Hutcherson and Hudgens are forced to play bland, attractive, adolescent tropes with little to no personality, while Luis Guzman flails about and commits pratfalls like a silent film clown. Michael Caine is another option.
One of those “excellent for what it is” movies, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island is a fun, family-friendly adventure movie in the spirit of Honey I Shrunk the Kids or the Goonies (only not that good). The movie has trite gags, one-dimensional characters, and an overstuffed plot that only sometimes displays genuine emotion or drama, but none of that actually matters in this situation. The content will amuse children, and it will keep the adults who are watching them amused.
Therefore, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island is a horrible movie, as you have probably already figured out. There isn’t anything in this that hasn’t been done better before, and even Dwayne Johnson has a good number of films on his record that are superior to this one (and yes, that includes The Tooth Fairy). To be fair, this movie is aimed at kids, so I assume that if you bring along a kid who hasn’t watched many action movies or isn’t sick of 3D, the tiny tike might enjoy himself. I get that the child would likely like watching an 80s family film like The Goonies, but that wouldn’t bring him outside. All you need to bring is a pillow for yourself.
More About Journey 2
A brand-new 3D CGI Looney Tunes short with Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd is also included in Journey 2. It has a different aesthetic for Looney Tunes, new accents for the memorable figures, and a frantic, hyperkinetic speed, but kids should like it. Though it is a little disconcerting to end an animated short with a shotgun pointing directly in the faces of children. But I digress.
An appealing visual experience is created by director Brad Peyton (Cats & Dogs 2) using appealing tropical settings and eye-catching (but evident) CGI and green-screen effects. Although Journey 2 is not going to win any technical honors, the aesthetics are adequate given that it is a children’s movie. Although it’s frequently utilized in that pop-out, “in-your-face” fashion intended to attract the transitory attention of children, 3D does add to the pleasure. But to be fair, any film that features The Rock bouncing CGI berries off of his pecs is more interested in having fun than in demonstrating its technical prowess.