Jungle Cruise……is surprisingly not a bad movie. The film isn’t the best, but it isn’t bad either. I came into my screening unexcited, and my expectations were rock-bottom. But Disney being Disney, it managed to surprise and impress me, per usual. Dwyane Johnson and Emily Blunt were spectacular in their roles. Jack Whitehall somehow manages to keep pace in this movie as well.
Let’s start with the bad. In Disney movies, including this one, the love story theme is way overused. It’s used in so many of their films, and is basically a staple of Disney, but at somepoint it gets overused, and boring. Also, stereotyping the villain to be German is…..lame, to be blunt (no pun intended).
Paul Giamatti was a low point in the film. His acting was great, but the character felt unnecessary to the plot, and overall useless. So did Edgar Ramirez’s character. Jesse Plemons could’ve done the whole bad-guy routine by himself, but they added another character in, that honestly just freaked me out. Snakes all over his body. Creepy.
Now, to the good. There is a LOT of great action, and quite a bit of it is pretty dark. Like Cruella, Mulan, and Black Widow, the 4 live-action films on Premier Access have great action sequences, wonderful character development, and lots of twists. The animation and VFX are amazing, you can’t even notice that some settings are done with green screens.
It’s quite obviously a Disney movie, with that trademark charm imprinted onto the script. The cinematography is off the charts, and it’s quite obvious why Dwyane Johnson wanted Jaume Collet-Serra (the director) back for Black Adam. There are quite a few twists, which I won’t spoil, but you will enjoy. Proxima, the jaguar, acts like a cute, obedient, but BIG cat.
Unlike Black Widow, however, the third act does not fall apart completely. There are definitely cracks, but for the most part it stands strong. Lily Houghton, Frank Wolff, and MacGregor are 3 very well developed characters, and by the end of the film we have a very firm hold on who these characters are. Jesse Plemons’ character, Prince Joachim, is not nearly as well developed, as there is never a motive established for everything that he does.
Conclusion + Other Thoughts
Do I think it could have a sequel? Yes, absolutely. And I would be all for it. One thing to keep in mind, though: Try and see it in theaters before Premier Access if you can, it’s 100% a better experience. My projections for how it’ll do in the box office is probably around the $400-500M mark, worldwide. It’s a good movie, and could have made more, but 2 major things are preventing it from achieving somewhere close to the $1B mark.
1) Premier Access. Had this film not been released on Premier Access, it probably would have made $100-200M more, because of Premier Access buys AND piracy streaming.
2) COVID-19. The pandemic has also shut down many theatres worldwide, and even for the ones that are open, people are scared to go back to the theatres in an indoor, enclosed space.
That’s my review of Jungle Cruise! It wasn’t the best Disney film, but was a memorable one. See it at your local theater today or watch it on Disney+ with Premier Access.