JUNGLE CRUISE (2021)
Flick takes place in the early 1900s with Dr. Lily Houghton (Emily Blunt) and her prissy brother MacGregor (Jack Whitehall) seeking the Tears of the Moon, a tree blossom that only grows in a secret place deep in the Amazon Jungle and is said to contain miraculous healing properties. Lily hires down on his luck river tour guide and ship captain Frank Wolff (Dwayne Johnson) to help her find it. Hot on their trail is the villainous Prince Joachim (Jesse Plemons), who wants the Tears of the Moon at any cost, and some ghostly Conquistadors with a grudge.
Adventure flick with a touch of the supernatural is directed by Jaume Collet-Serra (The Shallows) from a script and story by five writers, which sounds like a lot for a movie based on a theme park attraction. Johnson and Blunt are charming leads and do make a good team, even if this adventure feels as by the numbers as the attraction it’s based on. There is a lot of action and some daring escapes and the film looks good, but Jesse Plemons is to much of a dull villain to really be perceived as a threat. There are some colorful supporting characters, the film does have some heart and it really seems to want to be a lot more fun than it is.
Overall, Jungle Cruise passes the time breezily, even if it’s not quite the thrill ride we’d hoped for. It’s no Pirates of the Caribbean or Raiders of the Lost Ark, which appears to be it’s aspiration, but, you could do far worse. Also features Paul Giamatti as an Amazon River harbormaster to whom Frank owes money.