Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
Taking a page (literally) from the works of Jules Verne and Robert Louis Stevenson, this follow up to the original continues the adventures started by Josh Hutcherson, reprising his role of Sean, in "Journey 2 The Mysterious Island." Bored by the confines of suburban life, Sean enlists his stepfather played by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson to join him on an expedition inspired by the classic literary adventures of history's most fanciful writers. If the first Journey took Sean to the center of the earth, then the second, secretly encoded will lead him to a mysterious island where his grandfather awaits!
"Journey 2" is little more than a Disney theme park ride, with instructional footnotes to scientifically reveal plot points and push the story along. The film is suitably riddled for children...and not necessarily meant to appeal to the child in all of us, but it is an enjoyable roller coaster. It's a fun kids' movie with state of the art special effects. It isn't the acting Olympics, given a cast that is having a wonderful time navigating the surreal CGI terrain.
And there's nothing wrong with having "The Rock" serenading Sir Michael Cane with an original rendition of "It's a Wonderful World." Hutchinson proves his mettle as a marquee lead. No surprise since he successfully navigated the much more elaborate first chapter in this summer's "Hunger Games" franchise. Vanessa Hudgens has also graduated from her days of "High School Musical" as the daring damsel, though not in distress.
"Journey 2" is a great way to pass the time on a rainy afternoon with a houseful of kids that will get a thrill from the simple majesty of this adventure. Aside from a slim offering of bonus features to tempt you further, if the film doesn't steal you away, there's very little buried treasure to hunt for.
"Journey 2 The Mysterious Island"
Available as a Blu-ray/DVD/Ultraviolet Combo Pack