Review of 'Jungle Cruise'

jungle_cruise.jpg Based on Disney's theme park ride of the same name “Jungle Cruise” is a mixture of action and supernatural silliness.

In the 16th century a group of Spanish conquistadors search for the mythical “Tears of the Moon” along a river deep in South America. It is believed that petals from this tree can cure any illness. The group destroys a local village when the people refuse to give up the location of the tree but are in turn the conquistadors are cursed to never leave sight of the river. In 1916 Dr. Lily Houghton (Emily Blunt) and her wimpy brother MacGregor (Jack Whitehall) are determined to find the “Tears of the Moon” stealing an arrowhead that she believes will help them find it. Wealthy German aristocrat Prince Joachim is hot on their heals, determined to beat them to the prize. On arriving in South America Lily and MacGregoar come across local “entrepreneur” Frank Wolff (“The Rock”, Dwayne Johnson) who takes gullible tourists on river trips in his rickety boat complete with corny jokes and staged scenes with the local native tribes. Wolff is hired by Lily to help her search for the “Tears of the Moon” but is Wolff all he appears to be and will they find it before Joachim?

A bit of light-hearted fun from Disney with tongue firmly in cheek yet attempting, not altogether successfully, to keep up with modern sensibilities complete with a gay character. The effects look quite good and very much on the lines of a live-action cartoon with bizarre sequences including things like steam boats flying through the air. Jungle Cruise very much keeps up the feeling of the Disney ride with cliché after cliché but somehow this works…if that is all you are looking for. There are some “surprises” here that will doubtful not come as too much of a surprise but perhaps other twists that will.

The Rock really throws himself into the role (and also a producer) with an enthusiasm only matched, perhaps, by his female lead counterpart Emily Blunt who plays the role of “hard but determined female scientist” to a T. Think a lower-budget and more light-hearted version of Pirates of the Caribbean (it lacks some of this other film's much darker elements).

Enjoyable, silly, fun and perhaps quite forgettable Disney foray into creation of a film based on a successful ride.

Rating: “It is OK but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2023-10-01

Directed by: Jaume Collet-Serra

Studio: Davis Entertainment

Year: 2021

Length: 127 minutes

Genre: Action/Adventure

Other reviewed films by Jaume Collet-Serra: