Ostensibly a follow up to 2008`s Journey to the Centre of the Earth, Journey 2 is a family comedy centering around the premise that the popular novels by Jules Vernes are actually not merely works of science fiction rather than ethnographic studies of real places. The film follows the father-stepson pair of Hank (Dwayne Johnson) and Sean (Josh Hutcherson) in a mission to find the latter`s missing grandfather (Michael Caine). Along the way, they pick up comic relief Gabato (Luiz Guzman) and his angsty daughter Kailani (Vanessa Hudgens).
Despite the lack of any compelling plot line to anchor the film, Journey 2 achieves what it sets out to do, which is to provide mindless 3D entertainment for the whole family. The script, while not elegant, panders to the best strengths of its cast, particularly Michael Caine`s avuncular charm and Dwayne Johnson`s megawatt smile. The film`s action is imaginative, if unrelenting, and the humour veers largely to the bodily and the slapstick, although it is unlikely that anyone would go into the movie expecting to be reminded of Woody Allen.
Journey 2`s lack of purpose ultimately makes it the filmic equivalent of a well-crafted leisure park ride: a frenetic, neon-colored package that`s bound to entertain the young ones, and just engaging enough to keep their caretakers interested.
Summary: Good, clean fun for the entire family.
Rating: 3/5 Raphael Lim