After waiting for more than a decade, Disney has finally released their newest fantasy- adventure movie “Jungle Cruise”. Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra and casts outstanding actors like our all-time favorite Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt, and English comedian and actor Jack Whitehall and Jesse Plemons.
The movie was based upon the famous riverboat Amusement ride called “The Jungle Cruise” at Disney theme parks. If you like to get lost in the deeps of the majestic Amazon forest, then this is the movie for you. And this is what we think about the movie. Jungle Cruise primarily revolves around the legend from amazon called “The tears of the Moon”. “A single petal from the great Tree could cure any illness or break any curse.” Said MacGregor at the beginning of the movie.
We see Dr. Lily Houghton played by Emily Blunt who is determined to find this cure, after successfully stealing an ancient arrowhead from the Explorers Society’s building, sets off for the amazon forest along with her brother MacGregor (aka Jack Whitehall) in search of the legend.
The two meet Frank Wolff in South America who takes tourists on jungle river cruises and hired him as their skipper. Later we come to know he is also one of the cursed ones who were also in search of the arrowhead but gave up because he couldn’t find it anywhere.
The German aristocrat, Prince Joachim, who is also after the same legend, soon interrupted frank’s boat, but the three of them escape. Prince Joachim allies with the cursed conquistadors, Don Aguirre, and his team who were after the tears of the moon in the 16th century but were cursed for attacking the chief of the tribe when he refused to give them the location of the tree and hence turned to stone when they were away from river water.
After overcoming every difficulty on the road, they finally find the tree and successfully gather one petal, which Dr. Lily gives to frank, and it frees him from the curse. And they lived happily ever after, just like any other Disney movie.
When we talk about enjoying a movie, this movie has its charms. Although we find a lack of depth in a few areas.
First, this movie was shown in the depths of the Amazon forest but we hardly have seen any real shots of the surroundings. They based the movie on the amusement ride of Disney park which we take to acknowledge the ride along with its surroundings. If you watch the movie without knowing it is taking place in the Amazon forest, there is no sign that we will find out later in the movie to convince you so, nothing different from any other ordinary forest.
Let’s talk about the storyline. After watching the whole movie, we can’t ignore but think it’s truly a mash-up of the two most successful and our favourite movies “The Mummy” (1999) and “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” (2003). We get very similar characters from the first movie and an almost similar storyline from the latter. After working for over a decade on the movie we expected a little more from Disney.
For Chemistry of the main two characters, Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt steals the show. But their characters have very questionable bonding together. We see Frank and lily as two entirely distinct personalities. Frank uses fraud ways to get his business going and we have lily, who is crazy determined, strong-willed, and wants to help people. As much as we love to see such people fall in love with each other, the director did not do a good job showing it. They show that both have no chemistry when they meet and Lily disliked Frank for his ways but after knowing Frank’s real identity Suddenly Lily takes interest in him and they become inseparable. If you ask us, the Writers could have given a little more detail and time for the character’s development.
Disney Announced before they released the movie that MacGregor will be one of the first openly gay characters in the Disney universe. We expected a little more from his character than the stereotypical gay Third wheel brother who is overly fancy. The only time we get any details about him when MacGregor told Frank why he always puts up with lily, which was also to acknowledge Lili’s own character. He comes out with his sexuality without even using the word “gay”. As it was the first time for Disney, we feel they did not do justice to MacGregor’s character.
The story was held in 1916, London, around the time of WW1. They show us lily being a woman and the main character working on the case but could not submit her own paper in front of the oppressive, male-dominated scientific community and had to take her brother’s help for presenting her work. We would have really appreciated it if the writers had taken into consideration the time when this story was held and shown us something different about that era other than making Lily wear pants as comedic relief.
The movie was over 2 hours; it gets slightly boring at some places. We agree It is not an effortless task to turn a theme-park ride into an interesting and successful big-screen adventure, but a great cast, impressive visual effects, and a fun story help a lot.
Hadn’t it been for the good acting by the cast, we don’t see the jungle cruise overcoming any milestones at the box office? But in total it’s a good movie for a onetime watch this summer.