Journey 2: The Mysterious Island review (Blu-ray)

Despite little enthusiasm for a follow up to Journey To The Centre Of The Earth, this children's adventure is a slight improvement on its predecessor. It's certainly colourful and the various creatures that come to life will doubtless keep the little ones entertained.

The performers are personable enough too. Hutcherson, now obviously taller and more mature, is back again as wide eyed teenager Sean, still a devotee of Jules Verne. He receives a coded message from his grandad (Caine) who is stuck on a remote island out in the pacific. With the aid of three maps from classic boys' own novels and his responsible stepdad (Johnson), he embarks on an adventure to seek his aged granpa.
To transport them they enlist the aid of a scuzzy helicopter pilot (Guzman) and his hot daughter (Hudgens). But they are plunged into a whirlwind abyss and land on said mysterious island, where elephants are tiny and bugs are enormous. In the jungle they meet the man responsible for their plight - Caine is very sprightly as the eccentric fantasist who tries to lead them to safety. They come across all kinds of danger, be it from rising water levels - the island is about to sink into the sea - and scary sea creatures.
It's all perfectly diverting if you're completely undemanding, and the players have a relaxed camaraderie amidst the nonsense. Johnson particularly is willing to take the piss out of himself, flexing his pects and singing a song at one point. But the lack of a human villain is a mistake. A nefarious baddie for them to fight against would give the enterprise more oomph. Still, it's an agreeable caper nonetheless and the kids should love it.

EXTRAS ★½ Deleted scenes (5:53); a gag reel (1:16); and the interactive featurette Are You Strong Enough to Survive Mysterious Island?

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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