Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy
Runtime: 127 Minutes
Main Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt, Jack Whitehall, Edgar Ramírez, Jesse Plemons, Paul Giamatti, Veronica Falcón, Dani Rovira, Sulem Calderon
Plot: Based on the Disneyland ride, Jungle Cruise is the story of Dr. Lily Houghton (Emily Blunt) and how she and her brother McGregor (Jack Whitehall) hire the help of local skipper Frank (Dwayne Johnson) in order to find a long-lost ancient tree with healing powers that could change the future of medicine.
My Thoughts: Well hello, summer blockbusters! I enjoyed a year of indie releases but I have to admit, it’s so much fun going to the cinema for a big, loud, dumb blockbuster movie starring Dwayne Johnson. Sorry Scorsese, but that is cinema *chef’s kiss*. Jungle Cruise is one of my favourite Disneyland rides and although I couldn’t fathom how a boat ride full of Dad jokes could be turned into a 2-hour movie, I’ve been excited for it ever since it was announced. It’s a lot of fun and a perfect summer movie for families, although there were quite a few jump scares!
I’m just learning that Jack Whitehall isn’t well liked on Film Twitter? That’s fair enough, but let’s not get hasty and put him on the same shelf as that other UK comedian who we all find annoying, I can’t even bring myself to say his name. The thing with Jack Whitehall is he’s a bit of a posh d**khead, but he knows he is and that’s all part of his humour. He must have the hardest working agent in the world to get this role but he’s perfect for it, as is everyone else in this movie, to be honest. Dwayne Johnson is all over action movies lately and he brings the charisma and energy you expect from him (but I’m going to be gutted when I finally get back to Disneyland and he isn’t my skipper). Emily Blunt is as gorgeous as ever and kicking ass which we love to see. Jesse Plemons is having the time of his life!
The whole thing has a Pirates of the Caribbean vibe which is expected, and the long runtime whizzes by with the action starting straight after the opening credits. It was so great watching it in a busy cinema screen and being part of the buzz. It was the first time a cinema trip felt ‘normal’ since I went to see Rise of Skywalker I think. If this is the start of Disney continuing to turn their rides into movies I’m here for it, but the only way to turn It’s a Small World into a movie would be for it to be a 15-rated horror movie, thank you please.
Best Bit: I wanted to watch those early scenes on loop for the whole duration. Dwayne Johnson being the skipper for the cruise full of tourists and telling the jokes that the actual skippers at Disneyland do was just so magical for me. If I closed my eyes I could be back there, celebrating my 30th birthday with a churro in one hand!
Worst Bit: I’m so glad my little one isn’t old enough to see this yet because there were so many parents exchanging looks after a certain character was killed off and shouted ‘scheisse!’. The kids in the row in front of me were laughing out loud and repeating it and although it might be a ‘worst bit’ for the parents, it was a ‘best bit’ for me!
Fun Trivia: There are several elements from the park attraction featured in the trailer. The most notable is the “back side of water” gag that most of the cast members use during the attraction.
My Rating: 4 out of 5 suitcases belonging to McGregor that got dumped into the river.