Hop onboard the world-famous Jungle Cruise with Skipper Frank Wolf (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) and Dr. Lily Houghton (Emily Blunt) as they venture down the Amazon, searching for an ancient tree with mystical healing powers.
Based on the beloved Disney attraction, this action adventure brings the ride to life in unexpected ways. There’s Trader Sam. There’s a call out to Dr. Albert Falls. There’s even a huge moment to showcase the eight wonder of the world, the back side of water. The dad jokes go on for niles and niles. And if you don’t believe me you’re in…denial.
But putting my nostalgia and adoration for the attraction aside, Jungle Cruise is mindless adventure escapism at its finest. It’s packed with action, comedy and a strong ensemble of characters.
There’s no denying the dynamic star power of Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt. Their sheer charisma, cheeky banter, and onscreen chemistry can steer this ship alone, however, its Jack Whitehall who truly stole the show for me. Not only is it because his “fish out of water” ways is totally me if you threw me into the jungle, but because of the way he portrayed his vulnerable character so honestly. Now Disney, THIS is how you add in an LGBTQI character naturally.
I also adored Jesse Plemons as the evil villain. That man literally made an argument with a bee entertaining.
However, I am always honest with you, I can’t say watching Jungle Cruise is totally smooth sailing.
It’s a bit of a bumpy ride. I truly enjoyed the first half of the film, with moments and sequences reminiscent of Indiana Jones or even the Mummy.
I was even willing to look past how absolutely fake everything looked! However, it was the moment when the film decided to amp up the CGI weirdness, and through in some Pirates of the Caribbean immortal monster stuff, that I found myself groaning.
Why do filmmakers feel the need to overstuff potential blockbusters with every trope under the sun? Just because undead creatures worked for Pirates of the Caribbean, doesn’t mean we need to use the element all the time!
Just be yourself, Disney. You can create brilliant work that doesn’t need all the CGI hoopla. But at the end of the day what do you expect from a river cruise captained by Mary Poppins and Maui?
Final Thoughts: Pleasantly surprised with this summer blockbuster steered by an amazing cast and mediocre, jam-packed story.