Jungle Cruise, a fantasy adventure film starring Dwayne Johnson ‘The Rock’, Emily Blunt, Édgar Ramírez, Jack Whitehall, Jesse Plemons, and Paul Giamatti will be out for Indian audience in theatres. Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, Michael Green, Glenn Ficarra and John Requa wrote the screenplay. The film is based on Walt Disney’s theme park attraction.
The IMDb synopsis for the film reads – 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.
Jungle Cruise Review Contains A Few Spoilers
Based on Disneyland’s theme park ride, Jungle Cruise starts with flashback scenes from 1556 with the story of Don Aguirre ( Édgar Ramírez) and his attempt to get hands on the Lágrimas de Cristal tree. The tree’s petals can cure any diseases and help people get rid of any curse. Aguirre wants it to cure his daughter, and just when we think he’ll get it, things go wrong. A curse is laid on Aguirre that traps him on the Amazon river forever.
Now we are in 1916, where Dr Lily Houghton (Emily Blunt) steals an antique piece that is vital to reach the Lágrimas de Cristal tree. While many say the tale of Aguirre is merely fiction, Lily believes it to be true. Hence, she heads to the river with her brother MacGregor Houghton (Jack Whitehall) to find the truth. For the boat ride to their destination, they hire skipper Frank (Dwayne Johnson). Frank happens to know a lot about the jungle and sees more than what meets the eye.
The writers have taken at least 45 minutes to establish the plot, and you wish they would’ve hurried. When the ride finally begins, Frank, Emily, and MacGregor encounter life-threatening experiences and revelations. Most of the twists in Disney’s Jungle Cruise are already seen in various forest adventure films. Sometimes, they’re enjoyable, but most of the time, you feel underwhelmed.
The screenplay is dragged a lot in the beginning and again in the middle. At times, you feel are you on an adventure with no thrills. The predictable story demands a lot of your patience. I wonder if everyone will agree to sit through it till the end.
Every fantasy or horror adventure film has a character like Frank, who is pompous. He believes his jokes and puns land, but they drown. Dwayne has done a fine job playing the character that I had a hard time to be taken seriously. Lily, played by Emily, is a well-written character. But no matter how brilliant the actor is, a lousy script will not make an impact.
Jungle Cruise: Final Thoughts
Overall, the forest adventure has some good and some meh moments. The visuals and background music might add the much-required appeal. But in terms of storytelling, it falls short.