Journey 2: The Mysterious Island Movie Poster Image

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island



Adventure sequel is clunky but has positive role models.
  • Review Date: February 10, 2012
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 94 minutes

What parents need to know

Educational value

The movie is intended to entertain rather than educate.

Positive messages

Families work hard to stick together and stand by each other, even if that requires making sacrifices. Teens learn to understand and respect their parents and guardians. Together, and by using teamwork, the group is able to overcome many giant-sized challenges.

Positive role models

The movie's two father figures are both positive role models. Neither is perfect -- they have moments of bull-headedness, cowardice, and other flaws -- but they're completely devoted to their kids and will never give up, even if that means making sacrifices or facing fears. A young woman shows that she can take care of herself.

Violence & scariness

Giant monsters roar and chase the main characters; many of those chases end up with the creatures getting smushed and crunched. There's a somewhat scary helicopter crash scene and some "gross out" scenes as well.

Sexy stuff

Kailani (Vanessa Hudgens) is shown in slow-motion letting down her hair and removing a button-up shirt to reveal a tight-fitting tank top. Her cleavage is sometimes visible. She and Sean often argue in a flirty way, and there's a kiss at the end.


Sporadic use of potty talk and mild language -- mostly during loud chase scenes -- as well as insults; words include "hell," "oh my God," "ass," "piss,'' "poop," and ''crap."


Sean opens and drinks from a Coca-Cola in an early scene. The label isn't clearly on view, but the bottle's shape and color are unmistakable.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Not an issue except for a quick, humorous line of dialogue: "What were you drinking?"

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Journey 2: The Mysterious Island is the sequel to 2008's entertaining Journey to the Center of the Earth. The Hunger Games' Josh Hutcherson is the sole returning cast member, but the tone is very similar to the original. Overall, it's a family-friendly adventure -- albeit one with frequent tense chases, monster attacks, and a somewhat scary helicopter crash (some of which is a bit more intense in the movie's 3-D version). There's also flirting and a kiss between the two main teen characters, and co-star Vanessa Hudgens is often shown wearing a tight, cleavage-enhancing tank top. Expect some gross-out humor, as well as potty talk and very sporadic mild language ("ass," "hell," etc.). This is no cinematic classic, but it is bright and cheerful and has positive characters, including fatherly role models. 

What's the story?

After surviving his Journey to the Center of the Earth, Sean Anderson (Josh Hutcherson) is back living with his mom (Kristin Davis) and step-dad, Hank (Dwayne Johnson). Sean gets a coded message from his grandfather about the location of Jules Verne's famed "Mysterious Island." Hoping for some much-needed bonding time, Hank volunteers to go with him. In Palau, they hire a ramshackle helicopter, piloted by Gabato (Luis Guzman). Happily for Sean, Gabato's pretty daughter, Kailani (Vanessa Hudgens), comes with the deal. After crashing on the island, the explorers discover a world of tiny elephants, huge bees, and lost cities. But they also realize that they must find Sean's grandfather -- and discover a way off the island before time runs out.

Is it any good?


From the director of Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore, JOURNEY 2: THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND is as clumsy and clunky as its title. The pace is speedy, but it seems as though the movie sacrificed logic, character, mood, and rhythm to achieve that speed. Moreover, the visual effects appear soft and never quite mesh with the real stuff. Even the 3D effects don't really add anything except for the occasional "comin' at ya" moment.

On the plus side, the movie has an inviting, warm, open-air feel, and it's more innocuous than it is obnoxious. Strong, positive characters -- including a young woman who can take care of herself -- and family bonding moments are also very appealing. Not to mention that this is the only movie in which you can see former pro wrestler Dwayne Johnson (a.k.a. "The Rock") playing the ukulele and singing "What a Wonderful World."

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Journey 2's violence and scary stuff. How does its fantasy nature affect its impact? How do the movie's intense experiences affect Sean and his step-dad's relationship?

  • How does the movie portray families? How does that message/depiction compare to what you've seen in other movies and TV shows?

  • How does the movie portray fathers? There's a theme of "missing dads," but there are also great dad characters here. What's the take-away?

  • The first Journey movie was an adaptation of a Jules Verne novel; this movie's title also cites a Verne book but isn't a direct adaptation. What other books does it remind you of? Are there any you'd like to read after watching the movie?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:February 10, 2012
DVD release date:June 5, 2012
Cast:Dwayne The Rock Johnson, Josh Hutcherson, Vanessa Hudgens
Director:Brad Peyton
Studio:New Line
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Adventures
Run time:94 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:some adventure action, and brief mild language

This review of Journey 2: The Mysterious Island was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent Written byGrayWolf March 8, 2012

Perfect fun family movie

While not a cinematic masterpiece Journey 2 is something even rarer in todays Hollywood; a fun movie that the whol family can enjoy. I saw this with my two sons (7 and 9), my nieces (8 and 12) and my sister and brother-in-law. Together we spanned ages from 7 to almost 50 and we all had a great time watching the movie. It was a fantastically fun romp and well worth the watch.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written byJessact09 March 24, 2012

Great Movie For The Family

I took my family to see this movie last week, and I have to say we all really like it. It wasnt slow moving, there was plenty of action and funny moments. Great movie all together!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great role models
Parent Written byalicia37 March 20, 2012

This movie is good!!!...

What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism


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