I have been lucky enough to actually have been to both Disneyland and Walt Disney World, and they are literally one of the happiest places on Earth. Seeing some of the documentaries that have made their way to Disney+, it amazes me how they do what they do behind the scenes to give a quality experience to all of their guests, and that includes each and every attraction in the parks. This is proven by the number of films (good and bad) that have been based on those attractions, and “Jungle Cruise” is the latest on the list.
“Jungle Cruise” was directed by Jaume Collet-Serra (The Shallows, Reverie) and stars Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt, and Jack Whitehall (Luger, Horizon). Taking place during World War I, Lily Houghton (Blunt) and her brother MacGregor (Whitehall) are scientists who live in London and have been shunned by the scientific community. They have been studying the legend of a mysterious flower that can heal any disease, so they head to the Amazon and wind up with Frank Wolff (Johnson), a riverboat captain of some infamy, who they hire to transport them on their quest. They are not alone chasing this legend, as the evil Prince Joachim (Jesse Plemons) is hot on their trail for his own reasons.
This film kept me interested and was not too complicated for younger audiences. It does feel long at just over two hours long, but the story itself is VERY Disney in how it unfolds. The leads brought what I expected them to, but I really did enjoy the “puns” throughout the film from Johnson (which are actually part of the attraction itself). I did enjoy the “helplessness” from Whitehall’s character, but Plemons is not at his best here with his German/English accent.
The thing I enjoyed most here was the visuals, both practical and CGI. I know there was a ton of effects added, but it was done right and blended well with the practical locations used all over the world. There were even times where I felt like I was on the boat, even to the point where I was on the ride itself. Overall, there were some faults, but I really still enjoyed this film, so I will recommend “Jungle Cruise as a Saturday afternoon showing in the theaters.