Journey 2: The Mysterious Island: Movie Review

Put simply, "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island" is not that different from its predecessor. The basic premise for example actually uses the same exact sequence of events from start-to-finish (boy discovers a coded message, boy thinks it might be from a long lost relative and decides to go to the "fictional" place on which a legal guardian assists him, they find what they look for but soon find peril and they must escape or else). But here's the thing, "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island" does something that sequels rarely do and that is being better than its predecessor. Minus the "déjà vu-ish" story, everything else is bigger, faster, badder and funnier than the first one.

Sean Anderson (Josh Hutcherson) is caught by police escaping from a satellite research center. Luckily, his stepfather, Hank Parsons (Dwayne Johnson), saves him from going to jail. The next day, Sean reveals that he needed the satellite to receive a faint broadcast that contained a message with a bunch of indistinguishable words. Hank is able to solve the code which reveals the coordinates for a certain "Mysterious Island". Sean believes that his long lost grandfather was the one behind the transmission and that he has discovered the island. Sean and Hank set out for the island of Palau as the coordinates is nearest that location. In Palau, they board a private helicopter run by Gabato (Luis Guzman) and his daughter Kailani (Vanessa Hudgens). The four travel to the location but their helicopter is hit by a storm causing them to crash on the island. Eventually, the group meets Sean's grandfather (Michael Caine) but soon discover that they have a couple of days left before the island sinks into the bottom of the sea.

If there's one thing that "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island" does best is its non-stop pace. The film starts off in an instant - after the first five minutes or so, the adventure starts already and does not end until the credits roll. There's really no time to think and that is it's best asset as this is a film that really crosses the line from what's impossible and what's feasible. It's not about all about the action though and we have to say that the humor is another thing that defines this film's success. The tandem of Dwayne Johnson and Luis Guzman (with non-stop one-liners that are actually funny) perfectly caps off the feel-good aura this film exudes. To sum it all up, there's never a dull moment as the action, the humor or the combination of both is just a non-stop barrage from start-to-finish. On the acting department, everyone did a pretty swell job. The biggest surprise is Dwayne Johnson who does not only proves he is better than Brendan Frasier but he also does more than just act. As expected, the film was stunningly jaw-dropping especially in 3D. The first one did a good job but this one just blows that one away. There's really no reason not to love "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island". While its predecessor might have been too kiddie for some adults, the second foray is actually more mature and more attuned to adults. On top of that, this is a film that improved on the points that made the first film a hit and more.

Rating: 4 and a half reels

Why you should watch it:
- as expected, the visuals are stunning especially in 3D
- fast-paced and funny, there's never a dull moment in this sequel

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- the film's story structure is way too similar to the first film

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