Jungle Cruise

Based on the Disney Park ride, Jungle Cruise starring Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt opened tonight. Disney has made other theme park rides into major motion pictures (Pirates of the Caribbean) and this is their next attempt at finding a franchise within their park.

Lily Houghton (Emily Blunt) and her brother MacGregor (Jack Whitehall) were trying to get their hands on an arrowhead that they believed could lead them to an ancient tree with unparalleled healing abilities in the Amazon jungle. Lily hired boat skipper Frank Wolff (Dwayne Johnson) to take them down the Amazon following a map and the arrowhead. They are being pursued by Prince Joachim (Jesse Plemons), who wanted the pedals from the tree as well.

Jungle Cruise was a fun film, with some great charisma with Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt. They are easily the best part of the film. They are in an adventure that is fun, but somewhat convoluted.

I also enjoyed Jack Whitehall in this film. His character works well in opposition to the Rock, and their friendship is earned through the film. There are a couple of great scenes between them that looks deep into their characters.

Dwayne Johnson dropping all the puns and “dad” jokes in here is a fun character trait, and, some of the jokes are massive eye rolling jokes.

Some of the supernatural elements of the story do not work as well as the rest. There are three magical beings from the past, led by Edgar Ramirez, and these characters, which are important to the plot, just feel forced.

The CGI here is not very strong. There is a big cat character in the film and it looks pretty wonky most of the time. It reminded me of the Call of the Wild dog. The three villains too were mostly CGI and those characters are difficult to see many times because their CGI is not good. Much of the setting shots are beautiful and the cinematography is excellent.

Jungle Cruise is a fun adventure with a lot of action and two outstanding lead characters. There is a good villain in Plemons. While there are story issues at times, Jungle Cruise is fine. Is it perfect? No, not even close, but as a good time, Jungle Cruise hits.

3.2 stars

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