JUNGLE CRUISE is formulaic but manages to provide an entertaining moment for viewers. However, the delayed release in India could work against the film.

Jungle Cruise (English) Review {3.0 / 5} and Review Rating

JUNGLE CRUISE is the story of a trio who try to find a magical tree that can cure all diseases. In 1556, Don Aguirre (Edgar Ramirez) led the Spanish conquerors to South America in search of the Crystal Tears Tree, also known as Tears of the Moon, whose flowers can heal diseases, heal wounds and remove curses. Most of the conquerors die due to diseases related to the jungle. Don Aguirre and some of his associates are rescued by the Guardians of the Tree. They are cured with the flowers of the tree. When Don Aguirre asks the chief of the tribe about the location of the Tree, the latter refuses. Don Aguirre then sets fire to his village. Before his death, the chief of the tribe curses Don Aguirre and his associates. Due to the curse, they cannot see the river again and cannot live or die. In 1916, MacGregor Houghton (Jack Whitehall) asked members of the Royal Anthropological And Diverse Adventure Society in London for access to an ancient arrowhead recovered by a certain Dr. Albert Falls. The members of the society, however, refuse the permission. MacGregor’s sister, Dr. Lily Houghton (Emily Blunt), a botanist, sneaks into the Society building and steals the arrowhead. She is looking to find Tears of the Moon and feels that Arrowhead can help her locate the Tree. While stealing the arrowhead, it is nearly caught by Prince Joachim (Jesse Plemons), an ambitious member of German royalty who is also searching for the Tree. MacGregor and Lily then arrive in Porto Velho, Brazil, from where the Tree’s location is the closest. They hire skipper Frank Wolff (Dwayne Johnson), who offers the cheapest cruise on the Amazon River and is perceived as quite tough and knowledgeable about the topography. The adventure begins, but it will not be easy. The route is dangerous and, in addition, Prince Joaquin has also reached Porto Velho. To find the Tree and defeat Team Lily, locate Don Aguirre and his associates and bring them back to “life.” On the other hand, Lily realizes that Frank is mysterious and has been lying to her all along about various things. What happens next forms the rest of the movie.

The story of John Norville, Josh Goldstein, Glenn Ficarra and John Requa is a formula and a cliche, but it is entertaining. Like PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN, JUNGLE CRUISE is also based on a Disney World theme park attraction. Glenn Ficarra, John Requa and Michael Gree’s script is light and peppered with fun and exciting moments. Some twists in the second half also keep it interesting. The writers also make an interesting comment on how women were treated then and how Dr. Lily proves misogynistic men were wrong; this part will surely be licked by the public. However, the second part gets a bit heavy, especially the Don Aguirre track. Also, despite the unexpected twists and turns, the overall narrative is predictable, as there have been several such movies in this genre. The dialogues are very well written and add to the humor quotient. Dwayne Johnson’s cheesy phrases are hilarious.

Jaume Collet-Serra’s directing follows the standard template seen in jungle adventure movies. The filmmaker in the past has handled small and medium films. This is your first big problem, but the way you run it shows that you know your job well. The characters are beautifully presented, the setting is well explained, and keeping the film’s tone light will help attract families and children. He also deserves praise for the way he has developed the electrifying chemistry between Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt. On the other hand, the film gives a strong déjà vu of films like THE MUMMY, JUMANJI, INDIANA JONES and THE PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN. JUNGLE CRUISE is like a bhel puri of the template, the setting and other elements of the aforementioned movies. The second half could have been better or newer. Also, the movie opens too late in India. It premiered in the US on July 30 in theaters and on Disney +. As a result, your pirated copies have been available for more than 50 days. Therefore, just like it happened with FAST & FURIOUS 9, JUNGLE CRUISE has already been seen by many Indian viewers, and this would affect the footsteps.

JUNGLE CRUISE starts off great. The chase sequence within the Royal Society involving Dr. Lily sets the mood. Dr. Lily and Frank’s first meeting is hilarious, as is Frank’s subsequent fight with a jaguar. The cruise trip begins with an explosion when Frank’s ship is attacked by a torpedo. How Frank, Dr. Lily and MacGregor survive this attack is too good. The waterfall scene is exciting. In the second half, the turn on the tribal track is fine, but not that interesting. The scene where Frank reveals the truth about his identity is sure to shock viewers as they wouldn’t see him coming. In the pre-climax, the scene in which Dr. Lily dives draws attention. But it is too unconvincing, as Dr. Lily has been shown to have a phobia of swimming. However, on his first attempt to dive underwater, he almost manages to unlock the lever that leads to the Tree and it is too difficult to digest. The climax fight is fine but predictable. The movie ends on an abrupt little note.

Dwayne Johnson brings star power to the film and is absolutely entertaining. He also ensures that his character looks different from his act in JUMANJI, which was also a jungle adventure. Emily Blunt is quite adorable in the role, who can be described as the female Indiana Jones. She is great at action scenes and her comedic pace is perfect. The scene where she is asked to remove a sword from Dwayne’s chest is way too funny, thanks to her. Jack Whitehall gives an excellent performance and contributes a lot to the laugh quotient. The scene where he tells Dwayne Johnson about his past is memorable. Edgar Ramirez is fine. Jesse Plemons is decent but provokes laughter in the scene where he mispronounces “jungle.” Paul Giamatti (Nilo Nemolato) and Veronica Falcón (Trader Sam, head of the Puka Michuna tribe) do very well but are limited in scope.

James Newton Howard’s music has the adventure elements of period drama and it works. Flavio Labiano’s cinematography is spectacular. The production design of Jean-Vincent Puzos is detailed. Paco Delgado’s wardrobe is very impressive. Especially Emily Blunt’s Amelia Earhart-inspired clothing is to be commended. The action is fun and without violence or blood. VFX is extraordinary, what was expected. Joel Negron’s edit is neat.

In general, JUNGLE CRUISE is a formula and a cliché, but it manages to give a moment of entertainment to the spectators and has a great appeal for children and families. Unlike SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS and FREE GUY, this movie will have a 3D release in India. This and the casting of Dwayne Johnson, a popular actor even to the Indian masses, will help make the film a success. On the other hand, it will be released almost two months after its launch in the US and on Disney +. As a result, your pirated prints have flooded the internet for a long time and this would hit the box office to some extent.


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