Journey 2: The Mysterious Island,” The sorta-sequel to “Journey to the Center of the Earth” is a family action movie about people who treat the writings of Jules Verne as a Foder’s Guide to adventure.
Josh Hutcherson (soon to be seen in “The Hunger Games”) is Sean Anderson, a Jules Verne nerd who, with the help of his step-father (Dwayne Johnson a.k.a. The Rock) pieces together the location of the famed Mysterious Island using clues intercepted on a ham radio. Plane tickets in hand they head off to see if the place really exists. Along the way they meet a crazy helicopter pilot (Luis Guzmán) with a beautiful daughter (Vanessa Hudgens) several giant bees and tiny elephants and are reunited with Sean’s long lost grandfather, explorer Alexander Anderson (Michael Caine).
“Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” is a cross between “Gilligan’s Island” and a Saturday afternoon serial. From “Gilligan” it gets its silly sense of humor–“You know, if we die down there,” says Sean “Mom’s going to kill us.”–and from the serials it gets its sense of family friendly sci-fi fun.
Oscar winner and knight Sir Michael Caine rides on the back of a giant bee and The Rock cuddles a tiny elephant and Luis Guzmán tries to mine an active volcano made of gold.
It’s all harmless good fun. Not really memorable, but Caine is in crazy old coot mode, Guzman is gonzo and despite state-of-the-art special effects, the whole thing plays like an old fashioned kid’s adventure story.