Film Review – Jungle Cruise (2021)

Title – Jungle Cruise (2021) 

Director – Jaume Collet-Serra (Orphan) 

Cast – Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt, Jack Whitehall, Jesse Plemons, Paul Giamatti, Edgar Ramírez

Plot – On a quest to find a mythical plant with healing qualities reported to be located somewhere deep in the Amazonian jungle, English doctor Lily (Blunt) and her brother MacGregor (Whitehall) set out on a danger-filled quest alongside their hired boat captain Frank (Johnson). 

“If you believe in legends, you should believe in curses too”

Review by Eddie on 03/08/2021

A long time coming with various delays and Covid pandemic’s stopping its planned 2020 release, 2021 finally sees Disney’s latest theme park ride turned film Jungle Cruise make its way into the market courtesy of a hybrid cinema/Disney+ release, with this $200 million production a nice distraction if nothing more at this time and place. 

A hybrid of Indiana Jones/Romancing the Stone with a hearty dosage of The Mummy, that also wants desperately to give off the same vibes as the original Pirates of the Caribbean (still the gold standard when it comes to rides to film examples), director Jaume Collet-Serra takes a break from low-budget horror’s and Liam Neeson thrillers to take Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt on an adventure filled quest to find a magic plant deep the Amazonian jungle circa the early 1900’s in a journey that should entertain the whole family across its two hour runtime that barely pauses for breath from one event to the next. 

Jam-packed with questionable CGI that will make you long for the days where films were shot on location or at least real life locales rather than green screens at the back of a studio, Cruise is a colorful and energetic affair that does work far better than it had any right too thanks to its charismatic leads that generate nice moments off one another and a playful sense of adventure that is sometimes lost on modern day films taking a more po-faced approach to these type of affairs than necessary. 

Perhaps darker than one would except from the Jungle Cruise brand especially for a film with more puns than a season’s worth of Friends, Cruise does nicely to steer away from a film that adults would struggle too sit through and some of Collet-Serra’s action scenes such as an attack on a tribal village or a finale that is enlivened by the presence of comedic scene-stealer Jesse Plemon’s make the film more than just a generic family affair, even if the film lacks any type of memorable performances like a Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow or an action scene/spectacle that would’ve made the film greater than it is. 

In some ways you wish someone or something managed to elevate the film too a higher level, there’s moments in the film where opportunity seems to be arising for it too become a new Pirates level of popcorn entertainment or a very enjoyable Indiana Jones light rollicking adventure but as it stands Cruise is just an enjoyable and unassuming family film that is better than it should’ve been, but also not as good as it could’ve been. 

Final Say – 

A pleasant diversion for the whole family, Jungle Cruise provides a fun two hours in the Amazon (CGI) jungle with some likeable leads but it never does anything to make one think they will be remembering the film down the river at any time in the future. 

3 submarines out of 5  

5 responses to “Film Review – Jungle Cruise (2021)

  1. Well, based on your take I can say it is as good as I expected it to be. Not spectacular, but solid fun. I do love the Disney ride (which puts me in the minority among my Disney aficionado friends), but I wasn’t expecting the movie to be too great.

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