Jungle Cruise (2021)
Have you seen Pirates of the Caribbean? Have you seen Jumanji? Have you seen Indiana Jones or any Dwayne Johnson film? If your answer is yes (it’s definitely yes) then I present to you Disney’s Jungle Cruise, an in no way derivative adventure film.
In Jungle Cruise Dwayne Johnson is dryly funny and dependable and plays Dwayne Johnson, Jack Whitehall is superb, made me laugh and I love seeing him in Hollywood, and plays Jack Whitehall. Emily Blunt is a varied and skilled enough actor she doesn’t have a schtick, but she's in Jungle Cruise too. All of these are meant as compliments. I suppose.
For a split second I thought I might see something approaching Indiana Jones, but that was quickly beaten out of me, Jungle Cruise lists far more towards popular port than starboard serious; even more so than Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, less a crystal and more a vajazzle in Indy’s more sincere, storied, supernatural success chest.
Surprise! I actually rather enjoyed Jungle Cruise. Yes it is completely something I and we all have seen before, but it was also something I’d never seen before. A bit like porn, you know where it’s going but we all like the journey. Before anyone takes issue with “we all”, there are two types of people in this world, as my dearly departed friend used to say. Liars and wankers. He claimed to be a liar, which was both true and a lie.
The big budget and practiced patter of Jungle Cruise keeps it entertaining and the elaborate and slowly more supernatural story is engaging. The story? Oh, yes, apparently it's based on a theme park ride (I know), but there's a magic stone, treasure and a lot of jungle and cruising. Not that kind of cruising. There is nothing wrong with it though; Jungle Cruise wears its campy, throwback silliness proudly. Plus I want to go on the ride.
A good humoured adventure which is great fun in places. Realistically I was over aiming thinking about Indy. Above average, just, but something everyone can enjoy with lots of spectacular set ups and also Jesse Plemons hamming it up as a Nazi! 6/10