MickeyBlog Movie Review: Twists, Turns, & Puns in Jungle Cruise
In the new movie Jungle Cruise, based on the beloved Disneyland attraction, our three heroes face all manner of magical adventure as they travel along the Amazon river.
With tons of references to the ride and outstanding performances from every actor, you do not want to let the Jungle Cruise leave the dock without you!
Set in 1916 at the height of World War I, this film is overflowing with off-the-wall twists that I absolutely do not want spoil, and is a great action and adventure film.
Plus, the basic premise deals with how colonialism, sexism, and other forms of prejudice impact the main characters’ journey into the deepest and most dangerous parts of the Amazon.
The Backside of Water
First of all, rest assured that if you are a fan of the Jungle Cruise attraction in the Disney theme parks, you will have a big grin on your face by the time this movie gets to the title card.
The first few scenes waste no time in introducing us to Dr. Lily Houghton (Emily Blunt), her flamboyant brother MacGregor Houghton (Jack Whitehall), and Frank Wolff as The Skipper (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson… look, I know he just goes by Dwayne Johnson these days, but make sure you keep his old nickname in mind for the climactic pun of the movie – yes, this is a movie with a climactic pun).
All three of these actors give great performances all the way through the movie, and Johnson in particular gets to show off his fighting chops in tons of action sequences.
Plus, each of them get a chance to show off some of their dramatic acting skills, as well, especially in the well-executed scene in which MacGregor admits to Frank that he’s gay and never plans to marry.
And excitingly, the moment doesn’t feel as if Disney is just trying to check off a representation box.
MacGregor is a main character, and in 1916, there would have been no other reason for a man in his position to avoid marriage and live with his sister (who, by the way, is also breaking norms as the “mujer con pantalones”).
And the villains in Jungle Cruise are amazing, as well, especially Jesse Plemons in a role as the German Prince Joachim that you will not be able to look away from, and Paul Giamatti, who plays a wealthy rival riverboat owner named Nilo, seems to have a lot of fun as Frank’s personal nemesis.
Plus, get ready to have your heart stolen by tons of CGI animals, especially my favorite character Proxima (you’ll know why when you see her).
Jungle Cruise: Great Action & Adventure
If you are wondering what the tone of this movie is like, it is very similar to the 1999 Stephen Sommer‘s action adventure classic, The Mummy (this is very high praise, as far as I am concerned).
There are lots of action sequences, bad guys who are made of lots of CGI, an attractive and appealing cast, and jokes that will have you laughing out loud when you least expect it.
And perhaps best of all, just like the ride, you never know what’s up next around the turn of the river in this exciting and unexpected movie.
Remember, the Skipper gets paid for the people he takes out, not the ones he manages to bring back… but get in the boat and hold on tight, because you’ll want to see this voyage through from beginning until end.
Overall, I’d give Jungle Cruise an A- and have already noticed that it holds up really well with repeat viewings.
This movie only has a couple flaws that are pretty easy to overlook, especially when you’re having so much fun, and is perfect for fans of high-flying, swashbuckling films or for fans of the the long-time attraction at the Disney theme parks.
Jungle Cruise will be released in theaters and for streaming on Disney+ (with Premiere Access) on Friday, July 30th, 2021.