Sequels can be tricky. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island is one of those sequels. Having seen in it a very private screening (at the most there were 8 of us) I was eagerly ready to enjoy this no brainer, 3D extravaganza. A couple of laughs and twenty minutes into the film, things were going a bit downhill.
The film follows on from its predecessor Journey to the Center of the Earth and this time round Sean Anderson (Josh Hutcherson) is searching for a way to decipher a message sent to him by his grandfather (Sir Michael Caine). He gets in trouble and his step dad (Dwayne Johnson) helps him (really quite quickly) find out the message says he has found the Mysterious Island. So they head off to find it and on the way recruit Luis Guzmán and his daughter Vanessa Hudgens to take them there in a helicopter. They crash and find themselves on a mysterious island with massive insects, small elephants and a volcano spitting out gold. The find Michael Caine and everything seems ok.
…Action, explosions, giant lizards…
However, the island is sinking and they need to find a hidden submarine (The Nautilus from 20,000 Leagues under the Sea) to escape the island.
Now for anyone under the age of ten this film is perfect. Action, explosions, giant lizards, beautiful CGI locations and that sense of adventure you want to have as a kid. For anyone over ten the film is atrocious in its characterisation and storytelling and this is partially down to the script. There were times when I laughed out loud at the poor dialogue, terrible moments of exposition and anything Vanessa Hudgens did.
…this film won’t be winning any awards…
There were some nice moments in the film mostly from Luis Guzmán, but mostly I believe Michael Caine and Dwayne Johnson were in it for the pay check. Josh Hutcherson does well with what he is given and at times plays the action hero quite well. Unfortunately with a director who has only one feature film to his name this film won’t be winning any awards. It will, however, make ridiculous amounts of money from the family niche like its predecessor and spawn another film. The bad news is, if it’s to go with what the end of this film hinted at, the adventure will be to the moon.
Images courtesy of Warner Bros