Jungle Cruise is a 2021 American fantasy adventure film directed by Jaume Collet-Serra from a screenplay written by Glenn Ficarra, John Requa, and Michael Green, based on Walt Disney's theme park attraction of the same name.
Produced by Walt Disney Pictures, the film stars Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt, Édgar Ramírez, Jack Whitehall, Jesse Plemons, and Paul Giamatti.
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.
Jungle Cruise is Brendan Fraser's Mummy meets Pirates of the Caribbean staring a very charismatic Dwayne Johnson and the always amazing Emily Blunt. This is a deeply flawed, but very entertaining film.
I have a real soft spot for fun adventure films like The Mummy, Indiana Jones, and The Goonies. So this film really touched into that childhood fun. Did this film have many flaws? Yes, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't at least entertained. The film has puns, dad jokes, and comedy that works for the most part. It has just extremely fun sequences that make you feel happy. Again, this film had many problems, but it was undeniably fun.
The biggest problem I had was with script, especially the story. The plot of this film wasn't amazing and there's a few fake outs and fake conflicts. Another issue was the pacing. The film is a little too long and drags a little, especially in the middle where the characters don't have a ton to do. Again, a lot of plot issues. I also thought the ending was a little anti-climactic.
Overall though, I still really enjoyed this film. It's very campy, but it knows it and never tries to do too much. If you want to just watch something fun and mindless, than I think you'll enjoy this film. It doesn't offer a whole lot more, but it was enough for me.
The acting was great. Dwayne Johnson is his charismatic charming self and Emily Blunt never fails to amaze me. Jack Whitehall was great comedic relief, and I'll always love Jesse Plemons.
Story wise is where I think most of the film's problems come from. There wasn't enough story, and the film would've been a little better if it were shorter. There's dead space in this film where not a lot happens. No spoilers but nothing happens and nothing is earned. The film had maybe a few too many intermissions where not a lot means anything.
It's hard to explain without spoilers, but the story leaves a lot to be desired, and I feel like the main problems lie here.
This is the spoiler section, so if you have yet to see the film, shop ahead to the next section.
So the film opens up with Emily Blunt and her brother stealing this arrow head in this pretty good scene. They then use it to go on this Amazon expedition with Dwayne Johnson. We see a little bit of him in what is also a pretty good section. I really liked the first act of this film and I think it has a lot to do with both characters having very clear goals. Dwayne Johnson wants his boat and Emily Blunt wants the arrow head and wants to travel the Amazon. It's very clear and easy to follow unlike the rest of the film.
Once the voyage starts the film takes a dive. They're being chased by this Nazi who is also after this ancient tree, but he does far more to actually get to it and he is the main driver of the plot. He does one thing then a second then a third and those things lead to other things that constantly move the plot. That's the problem with our main heroes.
They just drift to the end with a few moments of artificial conflict. One was a riptide almost sending them over a waterfall, and the second was then being fake captured by natives. This goes to one of my biggest problems Dwayne Johnson's character is so inconsistent. The futon doesn't know what he wants to do, because it's very clear that he knows what the arrow head is. He wants it, but he only makes two attempts.
He tells his cat to get it but it doesn't, and he tries to trick them with the natives which also completely fails. My problem is that if he really wanted it he could've snatched it off her neck and there would be nothing she could do about it because he's the Rock. Why doesn't he do this because the writers have no idea what he wants. Emily Blunt's character was pretty consistent throughout the film, but she doesn't earn anything. People tell her what the arrow means and that's it. The rest is just following directions.
The final act was anticlimactic because the second act mishandled so many things. Even the twist with Dwayne Johnson actually being a cursed member doesn't make sense, because he'd definitely be after the arrow. It felt as if someone wrote the film the way it was meant to be wrote then someone else came along and said no it means to be two hours and that means Dwayne Johnson is basically not going to do anything that makes sense.
This film was littered with execution problems from character motivations to the plot. This is a film that is deeply flawed, however, it's a really good time. I was entertained throughout most of it and I found it to be pretty funny.
If you're looking for a great film this is not for you, but if you're looking for a good time Jungle Cruise will not disappoint.
© 2021 Royce Proctor Jr