Film, Reviews
Aug 6, 2021

‘Jungle Cruise’ Movie Review

Emily Blunt has teamed up with Dwayne Johnson (The Rock) to bring Disney’s iconic ride Jungle Cruise to life.

Image Courtesy: Walt Disney Studios

If you’ve ever been to Disney World, you’ve most likely embarked on the Jungle Cruise ride, much like Pirates of the Carribbean it is another ride, which Disney has developed into a franchise. We’re sure a Jungle Cruise 2 won’t be far off. With hard hitting dad jokes and a hilarious yet action packed script, we can’t help but think of the story’s future. While the film is really very fun, and great for the entire family it left openings which made us feel that only a sequel could be the cause. The Jungle Cruise ride was introduced in 1955, it is among the most enduringly captivating at Walt Disney World. The ride takes you sailing on a 1930s British steamer down the major rivers of Southeast Asia, Africa and South America through lush vegetation, accompanied by a skipper with a penchant for bad puns. The ride is filled with Audio-Animatronic animals that pop up along the waterways or the riverbanks to create the Amazonian feel of the ride inside Disney’s Adventureland. Those central elements survive in Disney’s big-screen adaptation, but just …just. The movie kind of ran the show with this feeling of “hey, it worked for Pirates of the Carribbean.”

The story follows Lily (Emily Blunt) as she travels to the Amazon after obtaining a map that will lead her to the tears of the moon. A revolutionairy magical plant that cures all. With a warring German Prince on her tail, and the discovery of a curse, alongside a pathological lying skipper, Lily’s off to a rough start to bring medical advancement to humanity.

The movie is really fun, and honestly a great go for a weekend movie outing, or a Disney+ Premiere action night at home. But..but. Emily Blunt’s character Lily is this awesome, intelligent, go-getter who has very forced “sexual chemistry” with Dwayne Johnson aka Frank Wolff (Also what is this name for a Spaniard?). We can’t think of a single movie where more “brother” energy was exuded between two on-screen leads in the past 10 years than Jungle Cruise. The movie then turns to them falling in love at the end…why? Why did Lily need to find love, with someone who she clearly see’s as a sibling-like energy. They would’ve made a better movie if they had just developed a friendship. What is this with every big action movie having to have a romantic interest? Honestly, if you needed it that badly, the brother was a more likely candidate. The two characters have a heart to heart aside on the banks of the Amazon that sparked more romantic chemistry than Lily and The skipper.

Our second bone to pick is with the Spaniards. What is happening in America that Spaniards are still being cast as brown? As part of the colonial rulers who came and invaded the America’s, we hate to burst this bubble but Spaniards are…caucasian. These conquistadors looked Latino to their core, and well The Rock is Asian so… we’re still parsing that out. We’re all about diversity, and inclusive casting, but make it make sense. If the Skipper needed to be The Rock, then explain the backstory of how an Asian man ended up with conquistadors. Also, take a look at Spanish cinema and you’d be hard pressed to find people who looked like the Spaniards that are portrayed in Jungle Cruise. More likely with these depictions, the story could’ve taken place post colonial occupation when the races began to mix, and Latinos emerged. Super weird casting ideologies there.

All in all, if you have kids it’s fun. If you love dad jokes, this was tailor made for you. If you just want to stare at Emily Blunt for two hours (because she’s awesome) also made for you. Otherwise, it’s a movie you can save to watch on a rainy day or the next time Netflix runs out of options.