"Journey 2: The Mysterious Island"
Rated PG for some adventure action, and brief mild language
2 stars out of four
Cast and crew err on the side of silly in "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island," the amusingly childish sequel to that unlikely 2008 hit "Journey to the Center of the Earth." They've rendered Jules Verne's novel into a jokey lark, with broad, corny wise-cracks, comic sidekicks and everybody riffing on the ginormous lizards, humungous spiders and the like.
Sean Anderson (Josh Hutcherson) lost his dad on an epic "Journey to the Center of the Earth." Now, years later, living with mom (Kristin Davis) and an over-compensating stepdad, Hank (Dwayne Johnson), the rebellious teen gets a coded radio message from his grandpa: "The island is real."
That sets the stage for a trip to the South Pacific, where they hire a low-rent chopper pilot (Luis Guzman, funny) and his daughter (Vanessa Hudgens). They find the place, all right, along with grandpa (Michael Caine).
This "Journey" is an action comedy for pre-teens, squeaky clean and scare-free. The most brilliant thing you'll see in "Journey 2" is "Daffy's Rhapsody," the new computer-animated Looney Tunes romp attached to the beginning.