Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt, Edgar Ramirez, Jack Whitehall and Jesse Plemons.
Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra
Written by Michael Green, Glenn Ficarra, John Requa, John Norville and Josh Goldstein.
Jungle Cruise, a film inspired by a ride at Disneyland, follows the story of Dr. Lily Houghton (Blunt) who enlists the help of Frank Wolff (Johnson) to take her and her brother down the Amazon river in the search for an ancient tree that holds the power to heal and break curses. With a whole lot of issues popping up along the way, Jungle Cruise throws it’s audiences into a full on, family adventure with plenty of wise cracks and a story full of twists and turns.
The character archetypes in Jungle Cruise definitely mirror those of 1999 movie ‘The Mummy’, with a brave strong hero and a fierce, intelligent, woman as well as an undead enemy and the comedic brother…while vaguely familiar, it works really nicely and adds to the overall feeling that this film is a wild mixture with inspiration taken from the likes of Journey to Atlantis, Indiana Jones, Pirates of the Caribbean and of course, The Mummy. It feels familiar because there are elements that may well have been inspired by other successful movies, yet it manages to maintain a fresh, exciting feel throughout.
Johnson and Blunt are a wonderful pairing, they bounce off each other really well and deliver equally solid performances. Both bring so much fun to this movie and their chemistry really helps move the story along. I’ve seen a lot of people commenting on the lack of chemistry between both Johnson and Blunt, however, I disagree. There might not be an overt sexual chemistry between the pair, but in every other aspect they work perfectly. Perhaps this is a reflection on an audiences need for romance to be the pillar of a relationship between two leading characters? Either way, I think this was a choice, the films primary story is not a romantic one and, in my opinion, it works. Jack Whitehall was the surprise of this film. He really shone and was the perfect casting to play Lily’s brother. A part that required strong comic timing and delivery, which we all know and expect from Whitehall, but also required a sadness and depth that explains his absolute loyalty to his sister.
Jungle Cruise isn’t a world changing film in many respects, but its the perfect opportunity for families to go to a cinema and experience the magic of this exciting story together. To escape from the worries of real life and take a couple of hours to go on an adventure with a strong cast who deliver a witty script perfectly.