Jungle Cruise movie review

Rating: 3 out of 6.

In 2003, Disney captured lightning in a bottle when “Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl”, a movie based on a theme park in Disneyland, succeeded both critically and financially. With that, it spawned 4 more sequels raking in big money for the studio and the park too as tourists visit to experience the ride. Since then, Disney has been trying hard to repeat its success building new franchises based on different rides but ultimately, came nowhere close to “Pirates Of The Caribbean”’s success. Remember 2015’s “Tomorrowland”? Me neither. In comes “Jungle Cruise”, Disney’s latest attempt on the whole process but this time, instead of being in the sea with pirates or the future with advanced technologies, we’re in the jungle with The Rock and Mary Poppins.

“Jungle Cruise” stars Emily Blunt, an Indiana Jones-type botanist who embarks on a quest to find the Lágrimas de Cristal tree. It is said its flowers are able to cure and heal illnesses; perfect for modern medicine and proving her place in a male-dominated field. Her adventure leads to the Amazon River where she meets everybody’s favourite action star Dwayne Johnson as a steamboat skipper who does jungle cruises for tourists at cut-rate prices. A couple of dad jokes later and we are into some swashbuckling action adventure with an unlikely pairing that colour the screen with their chemistry.

And that was this movie’s make or break factor. If the two leads didn’t have the right chemistry, this movie would be a bore fest. Luckily Blunt and Johnson proved that they have that chemistry together and it seemed like they were both having fun making this movie, which I always enjoy watching. Although, not quite a SPOILER but, I didn’t buy their romance at the end. It should’ve stopped at being only platonic and it’d be fine.

The rest of the movie though, it was serviceable. It was nothing you’ve never seen before. It was formulaic to the Disney brand – comedic family-friendly fun with a heart, kinda – that you would expect of a movie based on a theme park ride for kids. Yeah…. there isn’t much to say about the story of it, which isn’t a bad thing. It was just too ordinary with a couple of reliable action scenes to keep the pace going, forgettable villains, and dialogue that was easy enough to understand.

What I will say though is that “Jungle Cruise” gave us an unexpected pairing in Blunt and Johnson which I think carried the movie even after the movie is done. Watch their interviews together on YouTube. It’s actually funnier than the movie.

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