By Michael Hernandez,
Entertainment Reporter & Texas Metro News Columnist
JUNGLE CRUISE, starring Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt is based on an adventure ride at Disney theme parks. So, can the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN magic work again? I’m not sure this is a billion-dollar franchise, but Johnson and Blunt pull off a fun, even if predictable, movie in the latest Disney blockbuster. The movie is set in 1930’s London where Blunt and her brother (Jack Whitehall) are attempting to steal an ancient piece of art that will open a secret treasure in the Amazon that contains some ancient magic that can cure disease.
Blunt’s character wants the treasure to cure people all over the world. However, hot on their heels is a German prince who wants the magic to make his army invincible. That’s where they meet local hustler Frank (Dwayne Johnson) who is hired to take them down the river filled with peril from everything from jungle animals to 400-year-old spirits who want the treasure as well.
The movie is very similar to PIRATES OF THE CARRIBEAN with the cursed spirits chasing the same treasure and the German army involved in the chase as well. There’s great chemistry between Johnson and Blunt who rely on each other to survive test after test in the unpredictable jungle. I also like how Blunt refuses to be defined by any typical male stereotype. There’s a running gag throughout the movie where Captain Frank refers to her as “Pants,” rather than by her name.
In return she calls him “Skippy.” The movie also reminds me a lot of the classic film THE AFRICAN QUEEN with Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn, but I figured almost no one reading this remembers a 1951 movie, so I just left those references out. But if you remember that movie you’ll understand. JUNGLE CRUISE runs just over 2 hours (which I thought could’ve been shortened to about 90 minutes), but it is a very enjoyable adventure.
It’s rated PG-13 and on my “Hollywood Popcorn Scale” I rate the movie a LARGE.
JUNGLE CRUISE is now available on Disney+ for all subscribers and on all PVOD platforms.