top of page

Jungle Cruise
   review by Bobby Blakey

Jungle Cruise_edited.jpg

Dwayne Johnson has continued to bring not only dollars to the box office, but keeps taking on a variety of types of action films. His latest film, Jungle Cruise teams him up with Emily Blunt to bring another popular Disney attraction to life on the big screen similar to what they did with Pirates of the Caribbean. The film also stars Jesse Plemons, Jake Whitehall, Paul Giamatti, Veronica Falcon, and Edgar Ramiraz, but can it bring the magic of the ride to the film or will it sink to the bottom of the river?


Jungle Cruise follows intrepid researcher Dr. Lily Houghton who travels from London, England to the Amazon jungle and enlists wisecracking skipper Frank Wolff’s questionable services to guide her downriver on La Quila, his ramshackle-but-charming boat. Lily is determined to uncover an ancient tree with unparalleled healing abilities—possessing the power to change the future of medicine. Thrust on this epic quest together, the unlikely duo encounters innumerable dangers and supernatural forces, all lurking in the deceptive beauty of the lush rainforest. But as the secrets of the lost tree unfold, the stakes reach even higher for Lily and Frank and their fate—and mankind’s—hangs in the balance.


I have found these trailers to be entertaining, but bringing a ride like this to life could be a tricky thing so was leery on how well it would actually work. Thankfully it manages to be the kind of popcorn adventure fun that it promises from beginning to end. The tone of the film is like an amalgam of The Mummy, The African Queen and Pirates of the Caribbean. That last one is the biggest influence as it uses pretty much the same formula throughout to tell damn near the same story. This didn’t really annoy me like it might some, I just went with it and had fun.


This is honestly not the kind of movie I would have thought would work for Johnson, but he fits right in bringing all his usual charm and witty banter all while clearly having a blast. Blunt is good here as well bringing a strong female lead to the charge that holds her own right alongside Johnson all 

around. Jesse Plemons is always great and hams it up as the villain of sorts playing almost a cartoon type character that sometimes seems like he is in a different movie, but reminds you that this is just a fun adventure and not to take it too seriously. The other side of the comedic aspect is Whitehall who was funny in the role, but after a while wore thin for me.  The always brilliant Giamatti is great here in this slimy role, but sadly just not enough of him for my liking.


This is the kind of film you can’t take seriously and it isn’t trying to get you to. Instead it just wants you to get in on the adventure and fun of it all and go with it. It offers up a plethora of action from fist fights, boat chases, submarines, creatures and so much more. There is a supernatural element that is fun to watch, but kind of gets lost at times to the rest of the adventure again making it feel like a separate film ala Pirates of the Caribbean. One of my favorite elements is the homage to the actual Disney Jungle Cruise ride at the begging of the film that will no doubt please anyone that’s a fan of the ride.

There are some strange cuts here and there along with the familiar story, but in the end was the film I fully expected to get. I know it won’t work for everyone, but with such great sets, costumes, cast and that old school adventure we don’t get any more I had a blast.


In addition to the film this release offers up bonus content including outtakes, deleted scenes, and featurettes taking you behind bringing this popular Disney ride to the big screen. Grab your copy of Jungle Cruise available now on digital and then on 4K, Blu-ray and DVD on November 16th from Disney Home Entertainment.             

bottom of page