Review – Jungle Cruise
Available: In Cinemas and on Disney+ (£19.99 rental fee)
Rating: PG-13 (Adventure Violence)
Genre: Fantasy, Action, Adventure, Comedy
Runtime: 127 min
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Producer: John Davis, John Fox, Beau Flynn, Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia, Hiram Garcia
Writer: Michael Green, Glenn Ficarra, John Requa
Dwayne Johnson Frank Wolff
Édgar Ramírez Aguirre
Emily Blunt Lily Houghton
Jack Whitehall McGregor Houghton
Jesse Plemons Prince Joachim
Paul Giamatti Nilo
Quim Gutiérrez Melchor
Veronica Falcón Trader Sam
Based on Disneyland’s theme park ride where a small riverboat takes a group of travellers through a jungle filled with dangerous animals and reptiles but with a supernatural element.
Join fan favourites Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt for the adventure of a lifetime on Disney’s JUNGLE CRUISE, a rollicking thrill-ride down the Amazon with wisecracking skipper Frank Wolff and intrepid researcher Dr Lily Houghton. Lily travels from London, England to the Amazon jungle and enlists Frank’s questionable services to guide her downriver on La Quila–his ramshackle-but-charming boat. Lily is determined to uncover an ancient tree with unparalleled healing abilities–possessing the power to change the future of medicine. Thrust on this epic quest together, the unlikely duo encounters innumerable dangers and supernatural forces, all lurking in the deceptive beauty of the lush rainforest. But as the secrets of the lost tree unfold, the stakes reach even higher for Lily and Frank and their fate–and mankind’s–hangs in the balance.
Jungle Cruise would have been a great movie if had come out before Pirates of the Caribbean or Jumanji. However, it has come out well after both of these but manages to copy most of the plot from the bigger brother PotC. Let’s start with the MacGuffin to find a tree, with magical healing abilities and dead conquistadors attacking any who search for it. This seems very much like the plot of the pirate movies with dead Spaniards taking the place of the dead pirates.
The main character Frank is set up as an idiotic Jack Sparrow-like riverboat captain tricking gullible tourists out of their money. But he owes lots of money to Nilo (Giamatti hams it up perfectly.) Blunt’s Lily is cardboard as a stiff upper lipped character that Rachel Weisz played the character better in The Mummy. She can’t swim guaranteeing she spends a percentage of the movie doing just that. Whitehall plays her brother McGregor, again played better by John Hannah in The Mummy.
It’s all way too familiar from the Spaniards that are made of Jungle Elements (not sea creatures), to the CGI jaguar and the pointless quest for a vague leaf that does “things”
They just happen to get to the tree at the exact second a special moon strikes its leaves, blooming the flowers for a whole 2-3 minutes.
If you love CGI you’ll love this movie I think there are about 5 seconds that don’t have a horrible effect on it. The baddies look worse than the pirates Disney made 20 years ago. The fight choreography is OK, but for some reason, everyone seems shot or stabbed in either the leg or the shoulder, I wonder if the big hand of Disney was behind that?
The water and its assorted creatures all look amazingly fake, with the best performances going to Trader Sam and Nilo hamming up every scene they are in. Blunt must have her make-up tattooed on, as after falling in the river she comes out looking radiant continuity should have picked up on that but who cares its a movie based on a ride that most people have never been on.
All the jokes seem to nudge at insider humour at things that either happen on the ride making them fall flat for 99% of the audience.
This will keep two types of fans happy kids aged 7-12 and those that love the ride in Disneyland for the rest it’s just not worth £20 to watch at home. Blunt famously mocked Superhero movies, if this was supposed to showcase her talent for more dramatic roles you can bet she’ll be popping up as a villain in the next Marvel or DC movie she can. Oh and Disney, stop with the racist Scottish stereotype jokes it’s 2021 and with your reach and image, you need to aspire to better things.
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