Story

Journey 2 is the sequel to Journey to the Centre of the Earth. It begins with Sean Anderson (Josh Hutcherson) being arrested by police because he has broken into a satellite installation in a bid to boost an encrypted message he has received from an unknown source. Ex-navy decoding expert Hank Parsons (Dwayne Johnson) decodes the cryptic message because Sean is his stepson, and Hank wants to bond with him. It turns out that the message is from Sean’s grandfather, Alexander Anderson (Michael Cain). Apparently Sean’s grandfather has discovered the location of Jules Verne’s legendary Mysterious Island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Hank agrees to take Sean to the coordinates identified in the coded message, and they set off for the Pacific.

Hank and Sean hire helicopter pilot and tour operator Gabato (Luis Guzman) and his daughter Kailani (Vanessa Hudgens) to fly them to the spot identified in the coded message. As they get close to their destination, a hurricane forces the helicopter down. They survive the crash and discover they’ve landed on Mysterious Island. They set off to explore their surroundings. They meet Sean’s grandfather, who has been living on the island for some time. They soon discover that the island is sinking and they have only two days to find a way off.

Themes

Family relationships; reckless behaviour; people in peril

Violence

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island contains some action violence, but doesn’t show any blood and gore. For example:

  • Several police cars chase Sean while he’s recklessly riding a trail bike. He rides across a train crossing, just missing a passing train. He rides through residential backyards and runs over several garden ornaments. He then rides up a backyard ramp and lands in the middle of a swimming pool.
  • Sean, Hank, Kailani and Gabato run for their lives through the jungle while being chased by a giant lizard. The giant lizard almost catches Sean in its jaws. Two large logs swinging on suspended ropes hit the lizard just before it manages to eat its prey.
  • Two gigantic birds chase Sean and Kailani while they’re riding on the backs of giant flying bees. The birds are trying to eat the bees. There’s a slow-motion image of a giant bird narrowly missing Sean’s bee. Sean steers the bees to dodge the giant birds but Kailani falls off her bee and disappears into the clouds below. Kailani survives and isn’t hurt. A short time later, low branches knock Sean off his bee. He dislocates his ankle.
  • Hank faces a giant electric eel. He throws a spear into the eel’s mouth as it lunges at him.

Content that may disturb children

Under 8

In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, this movie has some scenes that could scare or disturb children under eight. For example:

  • Sean, Hank, Kailani and Gabato fly though an electrical storm. Bolts of lightning strike their helicopter, blowing off the tail section and setting the helicopter on fire. The helicopter spins out of control and is sucked into the vortex of a hurricane. Eventually the helicopter breaks up into pieces and disappears from sight.
  • A volcano on the island erupts, spewing rocks and lava into the air while massive earthquakes cause the island to break apart. Kailani, Gabato and Alexander stand on a ledge overlooking the ocean and are hurled into the sea.
  • There are many giant scary creatures, including giant spiders, centipedes, lizards and birds. An extended scene features a giant electric moray eel with a mouth full of sharp needle-like teeth and flashing bolts of electricity.
  • One scene shows the skeletal remains of a man sitting clutching a book. Kailani wrestles the book from the dead man’s hands. 

From 8-13

Children in this age group might also be scared by some of the scenes mentioned above. 

Over 13

Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this movie. 

Sexual references

The movie contains some low-level sexual references, some of which are supposed to be funny. For example:

  • To scare off a giant lizard, Alexander makes a noise that sounds like the lizard’s mating call. Alexander says that they’d better go before the lizard tries to make Sean her husband.
  • In one scene, Hank offers Sean some strategies for attracting Kailani’s attention.
  • Gabato asks Kailani if she likes Sean. She replies, ‘It could never happen with him’. 

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

None of concern 

Nudity and sexual activity

This movie contains some mild sensuality and brief low-level sexual activity. For example:

  • Kailani wears short shorts and tight-fitting low-cut tops that show her midriff.
  • Hank has lots of muscles. In one comic scene, he shows off a move that makes his pectoral muscles ripple and is designed to attract women.
  • After Sean saves Kailani’s life, Kailani sits on his lap with her arms around his neck. They gaze into each other’s eyes.
  • Kailani kisses Sean on the lips. 

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie: Ford cars and Apple computers and phones. 

Coarse language

This movie has some infrequent low-level coarse language that children might imitate. 

Ideas to discuss with your children

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island is loosely based on Jules Verne’s classic novel The Mysterious Island. It’s aimed at teenagers, and some of the giant creatures and other scenes in it are too scary for younger children. It’s fast paced and has plenty of good adventure elements, including action, fantasy, romance and humour.

The main message from this movie is that love, friendship and a caring family are worth more than all the wealth in the world.

Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include family love and sacrifice.

This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues such as the misleading way the movie portrays the consequences of Sean’s reckless and life-endangering behaviour at the start of the movie. You could also discuss the way his stepfather’s relationship with police enables Sean to escape responsibility for his actions.