Jungle Cruise (2021)


Title: Jungle Cruise
Year: 2021
Genre: Action | Adventure| Comedy |
Runtime: 127 min
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Starring: Emily Blunt, Dwayne Johnson, Jesse Plemmons

6,8/10

Based on Disneyland’s theme park ride where a small riverboat takes a group of travellers through a jungle filled with dangerous animals and reptiles, but with a supernatural element.

BLEAK CHARACTERS, WEAK PERFORMANCES AND CHEAP STORYTELLING

As Imaginative as it gets when you pound out $200 million dollars in the budget, Disney addition with Jungle Cruise chop off most of the budget on special effects, corny jokes and terrible storytelling. The time and effort for a sublime and enchanting script with joyful character are not what you get on this ride.
Calling this movie a female version of Indiana Jones, with Emily Blunt, Dwayne Johnson and Jesse Plemons in the lead is an insult to the franchise that Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Harrison Ford has built up. It doesn’t have the same character-sensibility or the twist of adventure to keep you engage in the story as you would telling an Indy-adventure. It tries to sell you a big-budget action-adventure based on a legend and a theme ride on Disney Parks but it doesn’t convince one right through. It has a slow pace throughout the story, building up to a climax that is cringe and cliché.  It’s a romancing, cheap ending that Disney has brought to the table for years now.

Emily Blunt are the only one bringing the A-game, with Lily. Dwayne Johnson delivers heartless, lifeless lines with his character Frank, providing a distinct annoyance.  Then there’s Jesse Plemmons, who plays some german villain (Prince Joachim) after the same treasure as Lily, who is abysmal. He feels uncomfortable and delivers his german line with distaste with his fake German accent. Then there’s a whole ensemble of jungle Zombies that the german villain is after, as they have been relived again after the Prince woke everyone up from their 400 years sleep. And when this is discovered, it’s like it doesn’t change. Not even when it’s revealed that Frank is also immortal and 400 years old, filling good fifteen minutes with the exploitation of background story due to lazy screenwriting, from Michael Green, Glenn Ficarra and John Requa.

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However, the directing is decent. Not good but it keeps it alive for the moment. Emily gives a worthy performance and there’s instrumental Metallica music including both the beginning and the reveal of the treasure; Tree of Life. Director Jaume Collet-Serra doesn’t have the best track record coming to a well-written character, as he bases his work on the visual and doesn’t give a shit about the storytelling, the emotional journey or the character development. And it showcases clearly as well in this movie that a lot of the budget is spent on the visual; especially of the CGI effect that doesn’t always convince one as they look decent with a cheap story, despite grand ambitious directing.

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