‘Jungle Cruise’ movie review: ‘Jungle Cruise’ Sequel in the Works at Disney
Jungle Cruise is a 2021 American fantasy adventure film directed by Jaume Collet-Serra from a screenplay written by Glenn Ficarra, John Requa, and Michael Green. It is based on Walt Disney’s eponymous theme park attraction. Produced by Walt Disney Pictures, the film stars Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt, Édgar Ramírez, Jack Whitehall, Jesse Plemons, and Paul Giamatti, and follows the captain of a small riverboat who takes a scientist and her brother through a jungle in search of the Tree of Life.
Plans for a feature film based on the Jungle Cruise ride began in 2004, the project laid dormant until 2011, then that version fell through and Johnson joined in 2015. Blunt and the rest of the cast joined in 2018 in a revamped version, with filming taking place in Hawaii and Atlanta, Georgia, from May through September that year. One of the most expensive films ever made, the film had a budget of $200 million. Following a year of post-production and further a year delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Jungle Cruise was released in the United States on July 30, 2021, simultaneously in theaters and digitally through Disney+ with Premier Access, with music composed by James Newton Howard.
The film has grossed over $205 million worldwide making it the tenth highest-grossing film of 2021. It received mixed reviews from critics, who praised Johnson and Blunt’s chemistry and the entertainment values, but criticized the screenplay and the abundance of CGI. A sequel is in development with Johnson and Blunt set to reprise their roles.
- Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
- Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt, Édgar Ramírez, Jack Whitehall, Jesse Plemons, Paul Giamatti
- Story line: A botanist, her feckless brother and a big beefy steamboat captain go down the Amazon in search of magical flowers
- Run time: 127 minutes
Jungle Cruise Review
Joachim (Jesse Plemons), a deranged German prince, is also on the prowl for the flower. When Lily and MacGregor arrive in Brazil, they hire Frank to take them to Lágrimas de Cristal, the reputed location of the tree, where they encounter Frank’s competitor, the harbour master Nilo (Paul Giamatti), and his cockatoo Rosita.
Joachim, aboard a U-boat, is closing in quickly, and he decides to enlist the assistance of the zombie conquistadors. A race against time and the appearance of head-hunters commanded by trader Sam (Veronica Falcón) are all that stand in the way of our brave explorers making it to the tree. MacGregor gets tougher, Frank shares a personal secret, and Lily tries her hand at some of Frank’s witty antics.
Even though Johnson is far too bulky to play an Indiana Jones-style adventurer, his demeanour is lighthearted and he frequently flexes his muscles while rolling his eyes. Another Disney half-assed attempt at diversity comes in the form of MacGregor’s “elsewhere” interests. As with Katharine Hepburn’s Rose and Rachel Weisz’s Evie in both The African Queen and The Mummy, Blunt’s Lily is a bookworm. Her only real skill is lock picking, which she learned from Delhi’s street kids. She can also punch hard.
However, the big question is: what happened to Proxima, the tiger? We’ll find out, perhaps, in the sequel.