"Jungle Cruise" Film Review
By: Nathaniel Simpson
Walt Disney had a vision back in the 1950's, of a where place both parents and children can go to and have fun together as a family. His dream turned into Disneyland, the most famous amusement park around the world. Nestled into the Adventureland area of the park is a small little ride called "The Jungle Cruise", where park guests board a boat to experiences the Amazon alongside a skipper who tells corny "dad-jokes". Almost 70 years later, the ride was adapted into an amazing film with Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt in the lead roles.
Blunt plays an adventurist who is on a quest to find the Tears of the Moon tree, to bring back a petal to help change science forever. When voyaging to the Amazon, she encounters Johnson's character Frank, who runs a small skipper boat to take guests around on a "jungle cruise".
This film is excellent, and in my opinion, really captures the same feeling and vibe from the ride in Anaheim. The jokes are corny and funny, there are tons of hidden little Easter eggs that only major fans of the Disney parks can catch on. The writers really studied on the classic ride before writing this film, which makes the film more genuine to me as attempting to stay true to Disneyland's classic attraction.
Blunt plays a very strong female character, that is evident from the first scene of the film. She is merely using her brother for her own advantage since she is looked down upon for being a woman. However, it seems as if the roles are reversed as the movie goes on as she is the one leading the battle and doing all the dangerous stunts while her brother looks on from the sidelines. She is a very inspiring character in the age of female empowerment.
The interactions and chemistry between Blunt and Johnson is incredible. They are hilarious together, and just make a good duo to watch in a film. You know the direction their relationship is going while watching the movie, yet you still feel overjoyed and excited watching them become more comfortable with one another and trusting each other.
The action and adventure scenes are incredibly well shot, and is jam-packed with tons of comedy and heart. Johnson just has this amazing presence on scene and watching him take out all the bad guys is a lot of fun. I personally love him in the Disney films more than anything as his character is so enjoyable and it's hard not to like him.
The villain, played by Jesse Plemons, is an enjoyable villain that you love to hate. He is trying to take the flower petal for himself, and will stop at nothing to retrieve his petal. It's fun to watch the extreme action sequences that include him, including the scene where he tries to take out our heroes from his submarine. It's very over the top, but still incredibly enjoyable to watch.
The film, as a whole, definitely seems like something out of "The Jungle Cruise" attraction, and I think it is well executed and amazing as a whole. I'm definitely hoping we get more of these movies based on the classic Disneyland attractions as they are incredibly fun to watch and are very accurate to the rides many people grew up with at Disneyland.