*Do you care?
Dr. Lily Houghton enlists the aid of wisecracking skipper Frank Wolff to take her down the Amazon in his ramshackle boat. Together, they search for an ancient tree that holds the power to heal — a discovery that will change the future of medicine.
“Know this about the jungle: everything that you see wants to kill you. And can.”
The thing about Disney is you never really know what comes first. I was seeing Old with my dad and we saw the trailer for Jungle Cruise and he leaned to me and said “they will make a ride out of that.” I told him “it already is a ride” which really just is the Disney experience in a nutshell these days. Be it making Marvel movies and building Avengers campus, or taking The Pirates of the Caribbean or Jungle Cruise, the established rides, and turning them into movies. This is the future for Disney and it seems to continue to work for them, so I do. not see it changing.
Jungle Cruise is the latest of their theme park rides to be adapted to a movie. And it really follows the simple rule of put Dwayne Johnson in your adventure movie and he will bring his charm and charisma to the screen. Pair him with Emily Blunt and you will have enough personality to make your movie at least watchable, even if the story does not exactly hold your attention. Which for Jungle Cruise, it has moments you will be along for the ride for and then moments you will say to yourself what the heck is going on? It is so clearly trying to catch the tone of movies like The Mummy or The Pirates movies that it never quite gets an identity for itself.
The difference with this movie than those others is that Emily Blunt’s character is really leading the charge here. She is a headstrong woman who will stop at nothing to find this ancient tree. Her and the The Rock do the classic they hate each other at the beginning and then learn to like one another. It all leads though to the major twist in the middle of the movie, which makes this much more of a fantasy movie in the back half. I just think its a bit too long and unfocused where it does lose you during that last hour.
Stock Neutral – Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
I mean he is The Rock. He shows up, does his thing, throws a few puns in there, and boom. you have The Rock experience.
Stock Neutral – Emily Blunt
We just talked about her in A Quiet Place 2, but she is one of the most reliable movie stars we have right now. She can do action, comedy, horror, and everything in between. I look forward to many more years of her movies.
*A couple other tidbits
- Paul Giamatti what are we doing here buddy?
- Jesse Plemons with a German accent was fun but felt completely unnecessary to the overall story.
- Edgar Ramirez is all time under used in this movie.
I think overall this is a decent. adventure movie that feels like it is Disney the second it starts. It has charming performances, good action, just gets a bit too wacky in the back half for me.
*You can find my 2021 Movie Rankings here.
*You can find all of my Movie Ratings here.
*You can follow my Letterboxd account here.