Review of Jungle Cruise – Rated PG-13

This review is brought to you by Kathy Kaiser

JUNGLE CRUISE – Rated PG-13 – 2 hrs. 7 mins.

DIRECTOR:  Jaume Collet-Serra

WRITERS:  Michael Green, Glenn Ficarra, John Requa

STARRING:  Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt, Jack Whitehall, Edgar Ramirez, Jesse Plemons and Paul Giamatti

Based on one of rides that opened as “an original” in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom on October 1, 1971, we venture into this latest Disney creation with our new favorite Skipper Frank Wolfe (Dwayne Johnson).  And he takes his boat excursions with the elite of the times in tow, it seems that he might not be a match for the precocious, and very independent Lily Houghton (Emily Blunt), who finds herself on a quest…seeking a tree that could save the world! Now, with her brother MacGregor (Jack Whitehall) in tow, whether she likes it or not, and shipman Nilo (Paul Giamatti) all over Wolfe’s case, it seems that a full -fledged jungle excursion might just be the ticket for Frank and Lily to embark upon, but only if they can get beyond the impediments that Prince Joachim (Jesse Plemons), and his merry band of soldiers enjoy throwing in their way…and of course, all the scary creatures in the Amazon too…

Dwayne Johnson as Frank and Emily Blunt as Lily in JUNGLE CRUISE. Photo by Frank Masi. © 2020 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Behind the scenes of Disney’s live-action JUNGLE CRUISE. Photo by Frank Masi. © 2021 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Packed with everything that makes us love the Jungle Cruise at Disney World, right down to the ridiculously not funny, and as cheesy as they can get jokes told by the Skipper as you venture along, JUNGLE CRUISE is filled with lots of enjoyment every step of the way.  The film also feels as if we’ve combined LIVE action sequences from Disney’s Jungle Book, with the same animation masterfulness we came to love from the Pirates of the Caribbean films, and with this type of storyline, this became a natural progression for this film to embark upon too.  And who doesn’t love the superb casting of our favorite bald guy, playing opposite one of the best actresses of the decade?! So, with these two stars in full array throughout every frame this film has to be destined to be one of Disney’s best of the last decade, right???  Well, not exactly.  Even though I felt thoroughly entertained throughout this film, there were points in the storyline and the action sequences as well, that seemed to be rather mundane at best.  I also felt that with the acting prowess that Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt brought to the project, along with the other class acts, like Paul Giamatti, Jesse Plemons and Edgar Ramirez, this one would turn out to be a MUST SEE in every capacity, but sadly it seems that JUNGLE CRUISE just never reached the pinnacle of greatness it could have achieved.  I mean, it’s far from a bad movie by any means, I was just hoping that with the fun storyline, and the fabulous actors that are involved, it would evolve by the end to sooooo much more than what actually made it onto the screen, thus leaving me to suggest that if you want to catch this enjoyable film on the big screen, by all means head out to a theater near you to catch it, but if you, like I, was hoping for this one to be ALL THAT, and so much more…you might just want to stay home and catch it on your home screen, as you purchase it through the Disney +  streaming service…

3/5

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