Australian Council on Children and the Media

Journey 2: The mysterious island

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Not recommended under 12, Parental guidance recommended 8-12 (Violence; Scary scenes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Journey 2: The mysterious island
  • a review of Journey 2: The mysterious island completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 6 February 2012.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Not recommended due to violence and scary scenes
Children aged 8-12 Parental guidance recommended due to violence and scary scenes
Children over the age of 12 OK for this age group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Journey 2: The mysterious island
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Some scary scenes
Length 94 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

This sequel to Journey to the Centre of the Earth begins with Sean Anderson (Josh Hutcherson) being arrested by police after breaking into a satellite installation in a bid to boost an encrypted message he received from an unknown source. In an effort to bond with his new stepson, ex navy decoding expert Hank Parsons (Dwayne Johnson) decodes the cryptic message for Sean, and we learn 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 the pair 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 but as they get close to their destination a hurricane forces the helicopter down. The group survive the crash to discover they have landed on Mysterious Island and set off to explore their surroundings. They meet Sean’s grandfather, who has been living on the island for some time but soon discover that the island is sinking and that they have only two days to find a way off.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Family relationships; reckless behaviour; people in peril

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

The Mysterious Island contains some action violence with no blood and gore depicted. Examples include:

  • Sean, recklessly riding a trail bike, is chased by several police cars. He rides across a train crossing, narrowly missing a passing train. He rides through residential backyards running over a number of garden ornaments and then up a backyard ramp to land 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. On one occasion the giant lizard narrowly misses seizing Sean in its jaws. The lizard is knocked unconscious just before it manages to eat its prey when two large logs swinging on suspended ropes hit it.
  • While riding on the backs of giant flying bees, Sean and Kailani are chased by two gigantic birds. The birds are trying to eat the bees and at one point we see a slow-motion image of a giant bird narrowly missing Sean’s bee. Sean steers the bees to dodge the giant birds causing Kailani to fall from the back of the bee and disappear into the clouds below. Kailani survives and is uninjured. A short time later Sean is knocked from his bee by low hanging branches and his ankle is dislocated.
  • Hank in an aqualung suit faces a giant electric eel.  He throws a spear into the eel’s mouth as it lunges at him.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of eight, including the following:

  • Sean, Hank, Kailani, and Gabato fly though an electrical storm with bolts of lightening striking 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 breaking up into a number of pieces and disappearing 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 and an extended scene of a giant electric moray eel with a mouth full of sharp needle-like teeth and flashing bolts of electricity.
  • One scene depicts the skeletal remains of a man sitting clutching a book. Kailani wrestles the book from the dead man’s hands.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group may also be scared by some of the above-mentioned scenes

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Children in this age group may also be scared by some of the above-mentioned scenes

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

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

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • Apple computers and phones
  • Ford cars

Sexual references

The film contains some low-level sexual references some of which have a comical intent. Examples include:

  • To scare off a giant lizard, Sean’s grandfather makes a sound that resembles the lizard’s mating call, then says that they had better go before the lizard has intentions of making Sean her husband.
  • In one scene, Hank offers Sean some strategies for attracting Kailani’s attention
  • Gabato asks Kailani if she likes Sean, to which she replies “It could never happen with him”. 

Nudity and sexual activity

The film contains some mild sensuality and brief low-level sexual activity. Examples include:

  • Kailani wears short shorts, tight fitting low cut tops and exposed midriff.
  • In one humorous scene, Hank, who has a muscle bound physic, demonstrates a move involving undulating pectoral muscles, designed to attract women.
  • After Sean saves the Kailani’s life, we see Kailani sitting on his lap with her arms around his neck while the pair gaze into each other eyes.
  • Kailani kisses Sean on the lips   

Use of substances

Nothing of concern

Coarse language

The film contains some infrequent low-level coarse language that children may imitate. Examples include:

  • “What the blue heck?”, “freaking gorgeous”, “that’s so sick”

In a nutshell

Journey 2: The mysterious island is loosely based on Jules Verne’s classic novel The Mysterious Island and is aimed at teens, with some giant creatures and other scenes too scary for younger children. The film is a fast paced and contains all the elements required for a good adventure film 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 parents may wish to reinforce with their children include family love and sacrifice

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • The misleading manner in which the film portrays the consequences of Sean’s reckless and life-endangering behaviour at the start of the film and how his stepfather’s relationship with police enables him to escape responsibility for his actions.

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