Jungle Cruise harkens back to the family adventure movies in the realms of Pirates of the Caribbean, The Mummy (Brendan Fraser ones, not the hideous Tom Cruise version), Indiana Jones and such like. Add a generous helping of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Emily Blunt, Jack Whitehall and you have the recipe for a rip-roaring ride that is simply what a Summer Blockbuster should be.
Dr. Lily Houghton (Emily Blunt) enlists the aid of wisecracking skipper Frank Wolff (Dwayne Johnson) to take her down the Amazon in his ramshackle boat. Together, they search for an ancient tree that holds the power to heal — a discovery that will change the future of medicine.
There’s more fun and puns in the 128 minute runtime of Jungle Cruise than you can shot a poison dart, shake a snake, dodge bees or swing through the air like Tarzan at. And what an enormous amount of fun it is too. Johnson at his deboniar best and a irrepressible Blunt instantly become one of the finest on screen pairings since Riggs and Murtaugh and Laurel and Hardy, such is their timing and panache. Their level of enjoyment is clear for all to see and oozes from every single frame of the film they are in.
Despite being CGi heavy, the film dashes through he set up, with minimal exposition which for the younger members of the audience doesn’t really matter. It’s a quest movie with a huge heart and lots of thrills and spills along the way. Jesse Plemons and Edgar Ramirez are the bad guys who you get to boo, while Jack Whitehall, who fulfils the John Hannah role from The Mummy is simply brilliant.
It’s quite an odd choice however for director Jaume Collet-Serra to choose a Metallica song (Nothing Else Matters) for the films theme. (It’s a reworked version with Jungle Cruise’s composer James Newton Howard) as for anyone who’s a fan of the LA Metal outfit will attest. Other than that despite the slightly long run time, it moves at rate of knots as the crew race to the prize and the grandiose finale.
Jungle Cruise is a welcome return of the traditional Disney adventure movie of years gone by and with Johnson, Blunt and Whitehall making a cracking trio, this is one voyage, you will welcome for a return journey.
Disney’s “Jungle Cruise” releases in cinemas and on Disney+ with Premier Access on July 30, 2021.