Adventure has just begun with Jungle Cruise

By Andrew McManus - Movie Review

We ACTUALLY don’t have a sequel this week! This film had me intrigued. I had heard it was a mix of Indiana Jones and Romancing the Stone. Both are absolute CLASSICS! If you know me you know for my love of travel. I always daydreamed growing up that I would become the next Indiana Jones or Brendan Fraser from The Mummy. There’s still time!

This was also a Disney release so the marketing was pushing this film hard. If you’ve ever been to Disney World you’ll know there is a ride called Jungle Cruise. This is supposed to be the tent-pole of a new franchise akin to Pirates of the Caribbean. However, would this work? I worried that we were being force fed a franchise and it may try too hard.

Onto the film.

We open as MacGregor Houghton (Whitehall) is speaking to the Royal Society about the “Tears of the Moon” research her sister Lily (Blunt) had put together yet as she is female they wouldn’t let her speak. Essentially she is looking for the tree of life, with mythical flowers on the tree that will heal you, cure you, etc etc. Think Indiana Jones and the Holy Grail. I immediately felt the similarities between the film and I’ll be honest I was excited.

Dr. Houghton (Blunt) is attempting to “borrow” an arrowhead artifact linked to her research and the “Tears of the Moon.” She runs into Prince Joachim (Plemons) and the chase is on as she grabs the arrowhead. Both Lily and her brother MacGregor arrive in Brazil where they are looking for a boat and captain to take them on their search.

We then cut to our other protagonist Frank Wolff (Johnson) as he is taking rich clients on a cruise in the jungle…get it.

He uses conman tricks and ropes and pulleys to have snakes, and different animals come “after” the passengers. He makes a quick buck and goes to port. We then meet the powerful Nilo (Giamatti) who Frank owes money too. Ok, so Frank needs cash and Lily and MacGregor need a captain and boat. See where this is going? I usually don’t want to give more of the plot because of potential spoilers or different twists and turns. For this film I don’t want to give away more of the plot because it’s genuinely fun to watch! The cast all shine in their roles and the chemistry between Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt works.

The story has suspense and a few twists even though overall you can guess where things are headed. The comedy works too Frank (Johnson) peppers in “dad-jokes” throughout and they are actually pretty good. I had two complaints, however. The other antagonist Aguirre (a real life person) was a touch too over the top. The CGI which accompanies him and most of the animals is hit or miss as well. This doesn’t change a fun story and wild ride. If you’re a fan of the classics I had mentioned give this a watch. Young and old will enjoy it and hope the adventure is just beginning 4 stars out of 5

By Andrew McManus

Movie Review