“Jungle Cruise” is an adventure-fantasy movie based on the popular Disneyland attraction. It follows brave Dr. Lily Houghton (Emily Blunt) as she hires skipper Frank Wolff (Dwayne “The Rock”) to accompany her and her brother down the Amazon River in pursuit of a magical healing tree. The Jungle Cruise release date was July 30, 2021.
Jungle Cruise begins in 1916 with botanist Dr. Lily Houghton stealing an Amazonian arrowhead from an elite anti-women British explorers’ society. The relic is intended to guide Houghton to a hidden Amazon River site where famous healing flowers blossom on an old tree. Lily and her brother MacGregor (Jack Whitehall) travel to the Amazon and engage brash skipper Frank Wolff to accompany them on a risky river journey.
Along the trip, Lily and Frank must dodge the Amazon’s natural dangers and an evil German Prince (Jesse Plemons) who is also on the lookout for the tree. And also a gang of Spanish conquistadors who want the flower’s petals to cure their everlasting curse.
Jungle Cruise Review
The protagonist couple’s charisma and their light-footed visual escapades carry the story through the first half of the Jungle Cruise movie. The premise, however, falls apart due to the overly convoluted backstory. The plot becomes dissatisfying, particularly as Lily begins to have nightmares about Prince Joachim, an ambitious German prince pursuing them for the same reason. After that, the film’s complex plot and histrionics reach their worst. The mystical themes and curses feel forced and unnecessary.
The irresistibly appealing stars contribute to making this thrilling, at times swashbuckling, ride adaptation interesting, though not as memorable as some other adventure-fantasy flicks. Johnson can make any character likable. Frank’s funny, witty comments are a delightful tribute to the Disney ride’s atmosphere. Emily Blunt in Jungle Cruise is a perfect fit for the pioneering Dr. Houghton. Lily has an unusually strong connection with her brother, who is sophisticated and picky yet prepared to follow her into dangerous situations.
Other Jungle Cruise cast members are underused, such as Paul Giamatti as a local riverboat magnate and Edgar Ramirez as chief conqueror Aguirre. And Plemons’ portrayal of a psychotic German villain, Prince Joachim, felt cartoony.
The scenery and production art in the film are vivid and engrossing. Jungle Cruise producers and director Jaume Collet-Serra should be commended for ensuring that issues of gender, class, and prejudice against Amazonian locals were naturally included. Even if the movie course-corrects to reject the same preconceptions that it originally appeared to be perpetuating, the movie’s portrayal of those natives is a little cringy. Fortunately, Jungle Cruise actors Blunt and Johnson brighten the plot sufficiently for viewers to overlook some of the screenplay’s flaws and enjoy the journey.
Jungle Cruise isn’t perfect, and it feels like a mash-up of several films rolled into one. The movie is undeniably enjoyable as it isn’t too serious about itself. It’s a terrific guilty-pleasure movie with plenty of real laughs. On the other hand, the pacing and general plot of the movie are its strong points. Sure, it’s predictable, but it’s also a genuine family adventure that follows the genre’s clichés and expectations. It’s a lighthearted, campy film that the entire family will enjoy.