Journey 2: The Mysterious Island won’t tax your brain in any way; it’s just an enjoyable ride.

This Journey sequel of sorts follows returning character Sean Anderson (Josh Hutcherson), who is a full-fledged Vernian now — someone who believes the places in the novels by Jules Verne are actually real. Of course, Sean has it on good authority Verne wasn’t making stuff up since in the first Journey, he and his uncle (Brendan Fraser) find a world at the center of the Earth. Now, Sean is convinced his wayward grandfather, Alexander Anderson (Michael Caine) has sent him a cryptic message from another Vernian locale – the Mysterious Island – and he wants to go find him.

His new stepfather, Hank (Dwayne Johnson), who has been trying desperately to connect with Sean, ends up helping the young man as the two solve the puzzle (the island is also in Gulliver’s Travels and Treasure Island) and head out to find it. They hire a helicopter pilot (Luis Guizman) and his attractive daughter (Vanessa Hudgens) to crash land them in, and once there, they locate granddad and discover the island’s wonders. Like, usually big things are now small (elephants, sharks) and little things are now huge (bees, lizards) and the lost city of Atlantis is smack-dab in the middle. Oh, it’s also the resting place of Captain Nemo from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and his famed submarine, the Nautilus. Suffice to say, the adventure is great, but the gang can’t stay too long cause the place is sinking back into the ocean – and people may wonder what happened to them.

See? Fun — just pure, wild, theme-park fun. Johnson loves doing the family-oriented, action-packed films (Race to Witch Mountain and Tooth Fairy) and why not? He’s good at it. He has such an easy-going, incredibly appealing manner that kids – and parents – enjoy. This may be the last time the now grown-up Hutcherson does a kiddie flick, however, since he’s moving up with films like The Kids Are All Right and the upcoming The Hunger Games. Still, he looks like he’s having a blast inJourney 2 – and I believe he shares his first serious onscreen kiss with Hudgens. Nice work, Josh. Guizman is along for the comic relief, while Caine probably just wanted a relaxing trip to Hawaii (where much of the film was shot). Not bad, Sir Michael.

Journey 2 is just as schmaltzy as its predecessor, with loads of cheesy dialogue. But the special effects are impressive and the 3D technology does what its supposed to do. I was a little disappointed they didn’t explain what happened to Brendan Fraser’s character or even have him come in as a cameo. Oh well. It doesn’t take away for the proceedings in any way.

There is also an added plus to the film – a revamped Looney Tunes animated short beforehand called Daffy’s Rhapsody. It’s good ole Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd in a brand new CGI romp, and it’s like reuniting with good friends. Good times.