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SJ News Online - St. John, KS
  • Movie review: 'Journey 2' takes a trip to nowhere

  • There’s no mystery to “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” beyond the fact that there’s no mystery. The sequel to 2008’s “Journey to the Center of the Earth” offers zero surprises by revealing up front that everything will wrap neatly.

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  • There’s no mystery to “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” beyond the fact that there’s no mystery. The sequel to 2008’s “Journey to the Center of the Earth” offers zero surprises by revealing up front that everything will wrap neatly.
    When we catch up with troubled teen Sean Anderson (Josh Hutcherson from “The Kids are All Right” and the upcoming “Hunger Games”), he’s lashing out against his mother (Kristin Davis, sleepwalking through her role) and stepfather Han (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, having more fun than he should). Sean hates them both, simply because he’s 16.
    Before you can say “happily ever after,” stepfather and stepson bond over a shared love of Jules Verne and an uncanny ability to decrypt a secret message that quickly and implausibly leads them to the South Pacific in search of the infamous Mysterious Island. Along the way, they are joined by Luis Guzmán and his gorgeous daughter (played by Vanessa Hudgens, duly serving as eye candy) and Sean’s adventure-seeking grandfather, Alexander (Michael Caine). Caine and Johnson chew the scenery, trading insults like longtime frenemies.
    Director Brad Peyton (“Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore”) and screenwriters Brian and Mark Gunn take a sledgehammer to our heads with recurrent nods to a desertion theme.
    They’re deserted on the island, Sean’s father –– and grandfather –– left him, so he thinks Hank and Mom will dust him, too. Enough already! And, note to the filmmakers: a little Guzman goes a long way.
    In between rocks and berries launched off Johnson’s ample chest via the “Pec Pop of Love” (and other 3-D projectiles aimed at our heads) and the deadly creatures chasing Sean, Hank and company, cheesy moments of revelation and closeness arise. It’s all clean and wholesome, but oh so rote for a “Journey” this arduous.
    Dana Barbuto may be reached at dbarbuto@ledger.com
    JOURNEY 2: THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND (PG for some adventure action, and brief mild language.) Cast includes Josh Hutcherson, Dwayne Johnson, Luis Guzmán, Vanessa Hudgens and Michael Caine. 2 stars out of 4.

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