Movie review: Journey 2: The Mysterious Island

Feb 10, 2012 at 2:04 p.m. ET

Who’s up for an adventure? Hard-body-hottie Dwayne Johnson is! He will take you and your family on a spectacular trek in Journey 2: The Mysterious Island. And it’s in 3D!

Dwayne Johnson holding a tiny elephant

I was expecting a fun time when I went to see Journey 2:  The Mysterious Island, but was doubly excited when I found out the film opens with an all new Looney Tunes cartoon called Daffy's Rhapsody, also in 3D. I grew up with Bugs, Daffy and the rest of the gang so I found this little piece of nostalgia a nice addition.

Daffy's Rhapsody with Elmer Fudd and Daffy Duck

In Journey 2:  The Mysterious Island, teen Sean Anderson, played by Josh Hutcherson, receives a coded signal via satellite and is determined to uncover its meaning. Stepfather Hank, a wonderfully tight-shirted Dwayne Johnson, helps him break the code which is filled with the names of nineteenth century writers like Jules Verne, Robert Louis Stevenson and Jonathan Swift. By combining maps from these authors' novels, the coordinates of an uncharted island are revealed. Sean and Hank are now off to the South Pacific to investigate.

Once in New Guinea, Sean and Hank meet up with helicopter pilot Gabato, funny-man Luis Guzman and his charming daughter Kailani, played by Vanessa Hudgens. Sparks fly between Sean and Kailani, but when they find themselves crashed on a beach after helicoptering through the eye of a hurricane, flirting takes a backseat to survival in this strange new world. Mammoth-sized butterflies and miniature elephants roam this island, which is sort of like the Galapagos in an alternate universe.

The filmmakers didn't invent any new creatures, they just had fun re-proportioning familiar ones, grounding the story in a nice bit of reality. Getting chased by a dinosaur-sized frill-necked lizard will get your blood pumping and riding bees like horses makes for exciting visuals. Another nice addition is Michael Caine who plays Alexander, Sean's eccentric grandfather, giving the film some Old World style.

There is a scene where Dwayne Johnson gives his stepson some love advice. Apparently, women cannot resist the "pec pop of love" which involves Johnson's pecs actively deflecting flying berries. Though it doesn't have much to do with the plot, it will make moms in the audience swoon.

Bottom line:  If you're looking for a fun flick to see with your kids, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island will not disappoint.

Photo Courtesy of Warner Bros.