'Jungle Cruise' (2021) Review: Fun & Familiar
There’s a moment in ‘Jungle Cruise’ in which cruise captain Frank single handedly wrestles a hungry cheetah, and wins. The movie has an explanation for why this impossible thing occurs, and for the most part it’s acceptable, but it was not lost on me that no such explanation was necessary. When it comes to Dwayne Johnson are more than willing to accept impossible acts of heroism. ‘Jungle Cruise’ is the film that takes that reality, and pushes it to the very limit. Yes I’m aware this is the same man who tried to convince audiences he could flex his way out of a cast.
Throughout this movie, the three heroes at the centre of it face all the threats the jungle has to offer. Poisonous plants, headhunters, wild animals, and if that wasn’t enough, a group of cursed conquistadors with more magic abilities than the Hogwarts Alumnus. It’s a setting that makes for some thrilling moments, though not exactly dreadful.
While flora, fauna, and fantasy make for the most sever threats, the heroes of this film also have to contend with the human element. Naturally, the film sets Jesse Plemons and Paul Giamatti to play over the top charicatures. Giamatti as an Italian meatball, and Plemons as a nazi in everything but name. Giamatti’s words are never without an exuberant gesture, and Plemons’ only excuse for not twirling his moustache is that it’s not long enough to do so.
Nothing in ‘Jungle Cruise’ ever feels like it will bring our heroes to their end, yet the film finds a way to keep you entertained regardless. Partly because of how well the cast works with each other. Emily Blunt, Jack Whitehall, and Dwayne Johnson are a charming trio, and their characters are likeable. Especially Johnson whose role is that of a real life theme park attendant, complete with the kind of bad jokes you’d expect from someone who has gone on the same dull cruise too many times.
Dull is the only thing ‘Jungle Cruise’ isn’t. It’s light hearted and gives the sensation of being on the ride the film is based on. It takes cues from better franchises like Indiana Jones and Pirates of the Caribbean, and puts them together to make something that’s not quite original without being a blatant copy. The story is simple and keeps you immersed in the adventure, and gives you exactly what you’d expect: A fun action adventure with some eye catching visuals.
Rating: Half Price
Note: With the recent restrictions imposed in the fight against Covid-19, cinemas are suffering now more than ever. While I appreciate you reading this review, movies are still incredibly subjective. If you think you might enjoy yourself, I encourage everyone to support the cinema industry as much as they can, and safely enjoy an evening at the movies. Stay safe, and remember, life’s too short for bad movies.