Journey 2: The Mysterious Island simply referred to as ‘Journey to the Mysterious Island’ by many, is the sequel to the engaging movie that was released in 2008, ‘Journey to the Center of the Earth’. Even though oddly named, the movie excels in all aspects, right from the brilliant casting, to the captivating plot. The movie sets off where the previous one ended, as we see Sean Anderson emerging as a rebellious teenager- a sharp contrast to the young boy we had seen him as, and realize that he has undergone a huge transformation, and now suddenly has a deep sense of family. The central characters in the movie are Sean, his mother, his stepfather Hank, and Hank’s daughter (and Sean’s potential love interest), Kailani. Josh Hutcherson and Vanessa Hudgens are paired opposite to each other and make for a rather interesting on-screen couple.
If you loved the prequel to the movie, then you must watch Journey 2: The Mysterious Island online, because this movie brings all the adventure and fun that the previous one offered, and adds to it a new mix of romance, comedy and emotion, making it irresistible! The movie starts with Sean being at odds with his mom’s new boyfriend, who is desperate to bond with him. When Sean receives an encrypted message from an unknown sender, he seeks Hank’s help to decode it, and the message turns out to be “the island is real”, which Sean believes is his grandfather trying to send a signal to him. It turns out that Sean’s grandfather mysteriously disappeared on an island a few years back, never to return. Left with no other option, Sean concedes to taking Hank along on his mission to bring grandpa back home. What lies ahead, is pure, unbridled entertainment!
Finding the lost ones is as difficult a pursuit as the decision to harp on such an arduous mission. Download Journey 2: The Mysterious Island and catch up with Sean (Josh Hutcherson) who has a difficult task at hand. Sean has given his nod to accompany his new stepfather, Hank Parsons (Dwayne Johnson) in a searching spree. Somebody has gone missing out there! It is none other than Sean’s grandfather, Alexander Anderson (Michael Caine) who lost his way ever since he went in search of an island. Sean, the adventurer receives a stream of signals which actually denotes some kind of stress.
Sean is shocked for such signals seem to indicate the existence of an island but as per his estimates and knowledge an island cannot exist at such a location. Watch Journey 2: The mysterious island online and see how Sean along with Hank sets out to look forth his grandfather as well as solve the puzzle of those mystical signals. Thus begins a ride with helicopter pilot, Gabato (Luis Guzman) and his daughter, Kailani (Vanessa Hudgens), the duo being the tour guide that takes Sean into a land that comprises of mountains of gold, ferocious volcanoes and plethora of secrets. Sean should hurry up as well since the island is threatened by seismic waves that want to send the very island into oblivion.
In this sequel to Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D, we catch up with young Sean Anderson (Josh Hutcherson), now a bit older and getting into all kinds of mischief. Sean’s mom (Kristin Davis) and step-dad Hank (Dwayne Johnson) try to pry the reason for his bad behavior out of the recalcitrant teen, and Hank finally manages to get the answer: Sean is trying to piece together the mystery of his missing grandfather, Alexander Anderson (Michael Caine), who went searching for a mysterious island of legend.
Working together, Sean and Hank decode a message from Alexander based on the famous adventure tales of Jules Verne, Robert Lewis Stevenson and Jonathan Swift. Sean immediately sets his sights on the island of Palau, the next step to locating his grandfather, and Hank – trying to bond with the boy and/or exhaust his curiosity – decides to chaperone the journey.
In Palau, Hank and Sean meet Helicopter tour guide Gabato (Luis Guzmán) and his daughter Kailani (Vanessa Hudgens) – who is pretty enough to make Sean risk a flight on her rusted copter into the eye of a hurricane that just so happens to hide the entrance to the mysterious island. Once they are (crash-)landed on the island, the party sets out to find Alexander – and then, find passage off of the mystical land mass before it sinks back into the sea, taking them with it.
Journey 2: The Mysterious Island is one of those “good for what it is” films – and what it is, is a light-hearted, family-friendly adventure film in the vein of Goonies or Honey I Shrunk the Kids (only not that good). The film is filled with cheesy dialogue and jokes, one-dimensional characters and an overdone plot that offers just a few notes of genuine heart or drama – but none of that really matters in this context. Kids will have fun with the material, and the adults accompanying them will be reasonably entertained as well.
Director Brad Peyton (Cats & Dogs 2) crafts a suitable visual experience via some nice tropical locales and striking (but obvious) green-screen and CGI effects. Journey 2 is not likely to win any technical awards – but again, in the context of a kids’ film, the visuals are sufficient. The 3D certainly adds to the fun – though it’s more often than not used in that pop-out, ‘in-your-face’ manner meant to capture the fleeting attention of youngsters. But, to be fair, any movie that spends time showcasing The Rock bouncing CGI berries off of his pecs is just out to have a good time, rather than impress with its technical prowess.
Of course, all the silliness would be too much if not for the cast of actors who manage to ground it, and Dwayne Johnson and Michael Caine are two of the main reasons why this film works as effectively as it does. Both are great leading men in their own right, and the contentious relationship between Hank and Alexander (as Sean’s competing paternal figures) creates some great banter, which are probably the movie’s best moments.
Josh Hutcherson has become something of a bigger name since his first Journey film, but he does a good job holding the screen and potraying a somewhat layered protagonist – good qualities in a young lead. Hutcherson’s chemistry with Johnson is also strong, and certain moments between Sean and Hank even manage to be somewhat moving as the film progresses.
Hudgens doesn’t offer much except her pretty face (not that she’s required to) and Guzmán gets the task of playing the irritating comic relief character – which he is certainly successful(?) in doing.
On the whole, Journey 2 is just a fun ride from beginning to end. It’s not a piece of classic cinema by any means, but between some great set pieces, a healthy mix of non-threatening action, (chessy) kid-friendly comedy, and some likable leading performers, you can easily set this Journey above the one that proceeded it.
BONUS: Journey 2 also includes a new 3D CGI Looney Tunes short featuring Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd. It’s a different look for Looney Tunes, featuring some new voices behind the iconic characters and a spastic, hyper-kinetic pace – but the young’uns should enjoy. Although, it is a little unsettling to end an animated short on an image of a 3D shotgun pointed in the face of a young audience. But I digress.