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Review: Journey 2: The Mysterious Island

I've never had the experience of being a step-child or a step-parent, but I know some people who have been on either side of the spectrum when it comes to that living arrangement. Those relationships can be tough and strenuous in many cases, because the kids might not take to the new adult in their lives. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island sheds a little bit of light on the subject while going on an adventure of a lifetime.

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island is a follow-up to 2008's Journey to the Center of the Earth and it sees Josh Hutcherson reprise his role as Sean Anderson. In this outing, Sean believes that he's received a code from someone, but that he can't figure out. He gets assistance from his step-father Hank (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson) and is able to find out what the code means. They soon understand that the signal that forwarded the code comes from a mysterious land that's not supposed to exist.

Being the adventurer that he is, Sean wants to go to this location and find out what's there, but Hank is hesitant and tries to talk him out of it. Hank soon realizes that the best way to show his step-son that this is a place of fiction is to have him see it for himself. They go to hire someone to take them over to this area and they run into a man named Gabato (Luis Guzman) and his daughter Kailani (Vanessa Hudgens). Together, the four go to the destination and find out that it's not only real, but it's also more than they could have ever bargained for.

The 3D in Journey 2 was some of the best that i've seen in just about any movie. They made sure that everything that could be used for 3D was used the right way. I'm not exactly fond of this Hollywood gimmick, but it wasn't problematic and I think that it's properly utilized here. From my perspective, it was one of the few strong points of Journey 2 and something that other movies wanting to use 3D should attempt to duplicate.

There's not a whole lot to complain about in Journey 2, but there's not a whole lot to rave about either. Much of what goes on in this movie flies by without doing much and I guess you can say that it served its purpose while having nothing stand out. I never got the sense that any of the characters were in any kind of danger and they didn't really act like they were in any either. Injecting some fear and angst into these guys during their dilemmas would have added to the excitement and made the action better than solid. With it being PG and kid friendly I know they couldn't do much, but I know they could have done more.

There are a few laughs to be had and going into the movie, you had to figure that comedy would be one of its selling points aside from the adventure itself. For every laugh in the Journey 2, there were two jokes that did nothing. Most of the good portions of the comedy came from Luis Guzman. That can be said when he's on his own or when he's with others on the comedic front, but he's usually the center of most of it either way. Just like everything else, the comedy overall is not bad or great, it's just there with not much else.

I didn't enjoy much of Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, but that doesn't matter. This movie wasn't made for people who can go to clubs, drink or join the military whenever they choose to. This movie was made for kids and kids alone. These youngsters may find this to be entertaining based on the 3D, CGI, a few jokes and the sense of adventure that the movie tries to create. From their perspective, I would say that it could satisfy the "twelve and under" crowd, but that's exactly what it's supposed to do.

Movies like this can be enjoyable for people of all ages, but it would probably need more depth and substance to attain that level of quality. I'll score this movie two ways. One will be based on my view as an adult and the other is based on how much I think kids will like it. This is the first and probably the last time I'll do this, but I felt it was appropriate.

Adults: 2/5
Children: 3/5

Rating: PG

Director: Brad Peyton

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson
Josh Hutcherson
Michael Caine
Vanessa Hudgens
Luis Guzman
Kristin Davis

Film Length: 94 minutes

Release Date: February 10, 2012

Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures

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