Film & TV

"Journey 2: The Mysterious Island" Continues the Weak Jules Verne-Inspired Adventures of 2008's "Journey to the Center of the Earth"

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island continues the weak Jules Verne-inspired adventures of 2008's Journey to the Center of the Earth. The production design appears inspired by Yes album covers and Candy Land. Of the original cast and major crew, only Josh Hutcherson, as Sean, a sulky teenaged Vernian, returns. Sean is particularly moody around his stepfather, Hank (Dwayne Johnson), who tries to connect with his charge by showing off his Navy code-breaking skills, deployed when the kid needs to decipher the whereabouts of his explorer granddad (Michael Caine). The old guy is living 100 miles off the coast of Palau, a destination Sean and Hank reach with the help of charter pilot Gabato (Luis Guzmán, clowning endlessly) and his daughter, Kailani (Vanessa Hudgens, introduced rack first). Lifting plot threads from not only Verne but also Swift and Robert Louis Stevenson, screenwriters Brian Gunn and Mark Gunn still have trouble scripting action sequences or dialogue that rises above the"Let's do this" level.

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Melissa Anderson is the senior film critic at the Village Voice, for which she first began writing in 2000. Her work also appears in the publications of the Voice’s film partner, Voice Media Group: LA Weekly, Denver Westword, Phoenix New Times, Miami New Times, Broward-Palm Beach New Times, Houston Press and Dallas Observer.