As a fan of all genres that provide high quality entertainment and good writing, I am not the least bit twitchy about renting (or even going to see) a family film if I think it will deliver. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island is definitely one of those films. As a sequel it transcends the original with great humor that any kid at heart can enjoy. It's a simple story about fatherhood, family bonds, and appreciating those you can rely on to be in your corner.
Far from the typical storyline about oblivious parents who don't understand their out of control kid, Journey 2 offers a refreshingly interested and helpful stepfather Hank (Dwayne Johnson). Despite being pretty much the perfect parent, Sean (Josh Hutcherson) and his grandfather (Michael Caine) refuse to accept him at first. Dwayne Johnson is always awesome and he brings everything to the table for Journey 2. Despite Johnson's mass and proven comedic skills, the bulk of the comedy comes from other father in the film (Luis Guzman), the pilot who agrees to fly Hank and Sean to the island. His silly shenanigans are a delight and make this just a good fun movie to enjoy if you want some really light entertainment.
The film is never bogged down or overburdened with a message. The message is clear, but it's packaged cleverly within the unfolding drama and never becomes preachy as these films often can be. The special effects were good enough, but not prize-winning. All in all, it was a well-balanced family adventure that is definitely worth watching with or without kids, if you are in the right mood. A