Jungle Cruise: Movie Review - Reel Advice Movie Reviews

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Jungle Cruise: Movie Review

Color us surprised with "Jungle Cruise". Don't get us wrong, the film was still very limited and you shouldn't expect anything outstanding from it. But considering the circumstances of its origins, "Jungle Cruise" had great writing and great chemistry from its leads that made this experience quite enjoyable. Simply put, it could have been a whole lot worse and what we get was pretty close to the best form it could have provided audiences.
There is a legend in the Amazon about the Tears of the Moon - a tree that could heal any sickness, wounds and curses with its petals. In London, Dr. Lily Houghton (Emily Blunt) finds an artifact that could lead to the actual location of the mythical tree. This takes her to Brazil where she enlists the help of a steamboat skipper Frank (Dwayne Johnson) to take her deep within the Amazon. 
"Jungle Cruise" handily takes the award for the biggest surprise of the year. We didn't expect much from a film based on a theme park ride but with a clean slate to work on, the writers were able to spin a tale and a narrative that had a lot of surprises within it. Additionally, with us being huge fans of "The Mummy" film series starring Brendan Fraser, "Jungle Cruise" had the same beats that made it a truly entertaining quest through the Amazon. It had truly evil antagonists, creative monsters, devilish curses, and more that made each turn a tease. Given this was a Disney production, expect the violence and overall feel of the film to be family-friendly and kid-friendly. At times, it was off-putting for us as adults but for younger audiences, they will be none the wiser. On the acting front, the film relies heavily on the dynamic between Dwyane Johnson and Emily Blunt and luckily the two had great chemistry. Jesse Plemons as the evil Prince Joachim was charming but it seemed that he was miscast for the role. While Jack Whitehall's character was inessential in the grand scheme of things. If we have one big gripe for the film, it was probably its visual effects and its huge reliance on CGI. Overall, "Jungle Cruise" does enough to make this film a success as a one-off. It's limited but it worked well given its limitations and preconditions. Admittedly, we're not sure if we're really game for another round starring the same characters and the same universe.      
Rating: 3 and a half reels





Why you should watch it:
- the writing was surprisingly strong
- there was great chemistry between Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- it relies too much on CGI
- the whole film is limited with its family-friendly spin

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