Jungle Cruise is the epic, fantastical, laugh out loud, complete movie experience adventure our pandemic-weary smiles have been craving.
Adapted from a Disney theme park ride, Jungle Cruise straps you in for a relentless theme park movie ride. With over the top corny deliveries by actors really enjoying themselves, the swashbuckling epic adventure story that is Jungle Cruise does not disappoint.
Set in 1916, Dr Lily Houghton (Emily Blunt), armed with a secret map and a stolen treasure, departs from London society’s stuffy-scientific-academia to Brazil, searching for a mythical tree of life, Tears of The Moon. In Brazil, accompanied by her pampered brother, MacGregor (Jack Whitehall), the pair enlist the rogue, incorrigible riverboat skipper, Frank Wolff (Dwayne Johnson). Frank has made a career of Amazonian Riverboat cruises. His business acumen is full of tricked-up gimmicks, a leaky boat, and a never-ending obsessive supply of corny jokes.
Johnson’s one-eyebrow-raised, corny joke delivery is cringe-worthy, unapologetic, and so good. You’ll tuck away a permanent smile and emulate the eyebrow raise, perhaps in private, to retell his repertoire. Again, and again. The stakes are raised as the threesome are pursued by a sociopathic dictator, a direct descendant of the Kaiser, with unlimited toys and resources.
Thrills and tension are amplified by a dynamic cast of characters in a treacherous and thrill-inducing setting. Around every river bend, danger lurks, sprinkled with your regular Amazonian Jungle adventure locals like flesh-eating headhunters, impossibly ravenous piranhas and the unexpected undead.
Ghoul-like conquistadors, all the creepier with their CGI-enhanced body bits falling apart and spouting unimaginable appendages, reminiscent of the undead Black Pearl crew from Pirates of the Caribbean (2003), pop out behind every corner. We are transported through the art of film on an uncontrollable roller coaster movie ride.
The fantasy cast, action plot twists and dynamic comedic dialogue are expertly structured for maximum audience enjoyment. And there is a sense from the onscreen magic between Blunt, Johnson, Whitehall and the entire cast of an endearing comedic connection.
Jungle Cruise is an old-school fantasy-adventure comedy film that is smile-achingly good.
Many of the puns Frank uses are taken directly from the Disney Parks attraction on which the ride is based. These “so bad they’re good” jokes are one of the reasons why Jungle Cruise skippers are so important to the ride experience.