Friday 30 July 2021

Jungle Cruise (Movie Review)

Disney continues to test the PVOD waters with Jungle Cruise, its fourth overall movie to receive a simultaneous release in theaters and on Disney+ through its Premier Access model. This is coming right after the heavily-touted success it had seen with Black Widow earlier in the month. And much like that other film, this one was originally slated to debut last summer, before being bumped a full year in the wake of lockdowns and COVID concerns. Now that the film is finally out, I'm here to tell you whether or not it manages to stay afloat in uncharted waters.

All sailing puns aside, Jungle Cruise stars Dwayne Johnson as Frank, a skipper who gets hired by a brother and sister (played by Jack Whitehall and Emily Blunt) seeking to explore the Amazon river in search of the fabled Tree of Life. Their adventure is made all the more perilous by the fact that they are being hunted by a German aristocrat (Jesse Plemons) who also seeks to find the Tree. But little do they all know about the dangers that await them in the depths of the jungle.

Jungle Cruise is just the latest Disneyland attraction to be turned into a full-fledged film, following after the very successful Pirates of the Caribbean film series. And similar to those movies featuring an Oscar-worthy performance by Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow, this one is also elevated by the star power of its lead, or leads to be specific. Both Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt give great performances, and the ensemble as a whole more than make the movie worth the price of admission.

The movie also has that sense of adventure you'd expect from a film about facing the many dangers of the Amazon. Most of its setpieces were a little too heavy on their use of CGI though, but even that is to be expected from a film of this nature. The main letdown then is in its generic story, and a marked absence of real stakes. Not once in the movie did I fear for the lives of its protagonists, despite the film's attempts to convince me otherwise. But I imagine this was done to keep things lighthearted and more importantly, family-friendly.

Jungle Cruise is a fun-filled adventure film that should appeal to fans of genre classics like those in the Indiana Jones series. But while it might not quite match those films in sheer thrills, it still offers many of its own while serving as a showcase for its star-studded ensemble, all of which come together to make its adventure ultimately worthwhile.


  1. The commercials for this movie have me excited to view it. Thanks for the all-encompassing review. With Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt starring, I agree, they make the movie worth the price of admission.

    1. You're welcome, Gail. And yeah, you should definitely give it a watch as soon as you can.