What this one lacks by comparison is the relative novelty of digital 3-D, which was in its infancy for mainstream theatrical releases when "Journey to the Center of the Earth" came out.
It also lacks the likable goof factor of Brendan Fraser, who starred in the first movie but isn't back for the second. Dwayne Johnson steps in this time, and while he tries to yuck it up amid the nonstop action, he's just not a goofball on the order of Fraser, who somehow can make extreme silliness palatable with that big, simpering grin of his. Johnson, on the other hand, merely simpers.
Size matters to the filmmakers here, which might be why they signed up Johnson, a co-producer as well as star, who strains for some laughs with an overdone gag about his massive pectoral muscles.