Release Dates: Australia 19th January, USA 10th February, UK 3rd February
IT’S A JOURNEY FOR LITTLE PEOPLE
All aboard folks, it’s another journey film. Don those 3D glasses and we are off and running from huge lizards, flying through storms, falling through gigantic eggs, and diving into oceans to escape lava.
This time around, after unlocking a secret code transmitted by his missing grandfather, Sean Anderson (Josh Hutcherson) of the predecessor Journey to the Center of the Earth, and his step-father, Hank (Dwayne Johnson) decode a puzzle hidden within three books—Jules Verne’s Mysterious Island, Jonathon Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels and Robert Louis Stevenson’s Robinson Crusoe. The code reveals the position of The Mysterious Island, and they set off for the Pacific to look for Sean’s adventuring Grandfather (Michael Caine).
Along the way they gather Kailani (Vanessa Hudgens) and her Father, Gabato (Luis Guzmán) who fly them to the Island, only accessed, they discover, through the eye of a storm.
Once on the island, they encounter the result of the ‘Island Rule’, a genuine evolutionary theory which imagines that, over the course of evolution in an isolated environment, large things can become small and small things become large.
Thus, we have on The Mysterious Island, dog-sized elephants and bees large enough to ride. How you steer a bee is not explained but the characters certainly seemed as adept as Star Wars Tie Fighter pilots.
This is one for the children and whilst the quite ridiculous dialogue and behaviour of the characters is redeemed somewhat by Michael Caine and the comic talent of Guzmán, most adults will be thinking, sink the island and please take Dwayne Johnson with you. But the kiddies will probably love it. My eleven year old critic commented, ‘It’s better than the first one by miles.’ The nine-year old laughed uproariously at Gabato’s antics.
It’s a bit of fun, with intriguing use of Verne’s imaginative literary creations, and special effects that will keep most children between the ages of eight and fourteen very happy. Adults please note, whilst visiting the island, keep your brain switched to low and just enjoy the ride. Don’t analyse the plot holes or you will certainly fall off. And before you see the film, do explain to your children first, “No, you are not getting an elephant. Yes, they are cute, but they get big.”