Director Jaume Collet-Serra, best known for his films Orphan, The Shallows, and the upcoming DC film, Black Adam, has beautifully brought to life one of Disney’s popular amusement park rides. Equipped with a star-studded cast including Dwayne Johnson, Jesse Plemons, Emily Blunt, Paul Giamatti and Edgar Ramirez and strong support from impressive CGI, the film delivers a fun adventure through the South American jungle.
Jungle Cruise follows Dr. Lily Houghton (Emily Blunt) and her brother McGregor Houghton (Jack Whitehall) as they enlist the help of a sarcastic and pun-spewing local skipper, Frank Wolff (Dwayne Johnson) and venture up the Amazon in search of an ancient tree said to possess incredible healing powers. On their journey they come across various challenges including a group of angry supernatural beings also seeking the mythical tree.
Jungle Cruise is a fun and action-filled jaunt through the Amazon for all ages. A few scenes containing some pretty creepy undead guys may be a bit graphic for some younger viewers. Oh, and lots of snakes. While it’s not necessarily a ground-breaking film, Jungle Cruise is certainly entertaining enough to be worth the ride.
Here’s The Rundown
The film definitely excelled in its action sequences. Each sequence was captivating and technically very well done, given that most were completed with heavy help from CGI. One scene which stands out the most is when the viewer and main characters are introduced to the four supernatural beings for the first time in the jungle. The scene builds up its pacing perfectly, going from a calm atmosphere to complete chaos when the new characters are introduced. The viewer is also able to see why each new character is a huge threat, each hiding their own secret abilities, such as Aguirre being part snake, and all of them seemingly unable to die.
The special effects aka CGI in Jungle Cruise is top-notch. The graphics were significant and successful in creating the world, animals and many of the characters of Jungle Cruise. The most mesmerizing piece of CGI occurred when the viewer sees the ancient tree for the first time. Each petal from the tree was beautifully illustrated. Within the same scene, we also come across supernatural beings again, whose realistic CGI was consistently good throughout the film.
Another plus side to the film is the excellent performances by the strong cast. An always fabulous Emily Blunt definitely outshines Dwayne Johnson throughout the film. The film reinforces Johnson’s star power as definitely based on his action and comedic chops (and not on his romantic lead potential). Another great performance that caught my attention came from Edgar Ramirez, played a tortured, undead conquistador. Although he has relatively little screen time, each scene he appears in makes the viewer feel very uneasy which matches his character perfectly.