Blu-ray Review: Dwayne Johnson In JOURNEY 2: THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND


Right, I can’t be too critical of Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, it’s not aimed at people like me. It’s aimed at children and families, and for that reason I have to give it a pass.

Journey 2 begins with a gratuitous and totally unnecessary motorbike chase, which sets the plot in motion for Josh Hutcherson’s Sean and his stepfather Hank (Dwayne Johnson) to go in search of the Missing Island and his Mysterious Grandfather (Michael Caine). Or is it the Mysterious Island and his missing Grandfather? Who knows, but either way they’re soon jet-setting across the world where they meet Luis Guzmán’s Gabato and his daughter Kailani (Vanessa Hudgens), who Hutcherson promptly falls in love with. After a disastrous helicopter ride they arrive on the Mysterious Island, where they meet Michael Caine and all sorts of weird and wonderful creatures. However, they can’t enjoy their stay because they discover that they only have a matter of days before the island sinks; cue the usual ticking clock adventure stuff. It happens at a whirlwind pace, and it wouldn’t make any sense if you stopped and thought about it, even if just for a second.

Journey 2 works because of Dwayne Johnson and Luis Guzmán. The duo give the film much more passion than it deserves-in fact, it would be much better to see these two guys in a film aimed at adults, than slumming it here. As for Michael Caine? He just plays the crazy old-timer – imagine Alfred the Butler with cabin fever. The effects are so-so, and it looks like most of the budget probably went on transforming the film into 3D. It follows the Avatar rule in that respect, with a lot of bright colours, flying creatures and objects moving towards the camera. Again, it’s all very affable, and the film looks pretty (if a bit studio-bound) on Blu-ray.

An impressive box office gross means that this series looks set to run and run-and this is the most interesting aspect of Journey 2 (the previous film and any future instalments). We live in a time when superhero movies are ten a penny, so it’s very impressive that there is a Jules Verne movie franchise raking in dough at the box office. If Journey 2: The Mysterious Island gets kids reading a few of Verne’s tales then it’s got to be worthwhile. Right?