This fantasy adventure movie directed by Jaume Collet-Serra is based on Walt Disney’s theme park attraction of the same name.
The film also stars Jesse Plemons and Edgar Ramirez.
Skipper of a small riverboat (Dwayne Johnson) takes a beautiful scientist (Emily Blunt) and her gay brother through Amazon jungle in search of the ‘Tears of the Moon’ depicted as the tree-of-life in the story. (Tears of the Moon happens to be a mythical tree whose flowers cure illnesses, heal injuries and lift curses). Yet this adventurous voyage becomes far from rowing a boat gently down the stream. Many movies made in this pandemic period project the unrest and urgency prevailing in people’s minds in their work and ‘Jungle Cruise’ is no exception. The whole movie that seems to be made in a hurry with a screenplay written in a flash has left the overall production with many flaws. Camera, CGI (computer generated imagery), editing and dialogues lack consistency and credibility to a great extent.
Johnson now a more mature actor brings about his usual charm but the dialogues he utters do not always sink with his appearance and the temperament of the character. And they are not funny at times as anticipated by the makers. At the latter part of the film Johnson reveals he is a sole-less person (as Dracula?) making things more complicated.
Emily Blunt’s gestures at times reminds us of Roger Moore’s sense of humour in ‘Bond’ movies. We could even witness a glimpse of Lara Croft or Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Tarzan in her. She often grins in an unusual manner maybe to add difference to the character unlike in her earlier portrayals. These are however not the actor’s faults but the lapses in the screenplay, dialogues and direction.
The movie may also remind someone of Herge’s ‘Tintin and the Picaros’ while another would be compelled to compare it with ‘Indiana Jones’ movie. It also has a hint of ‘The Mummy or a Pirates’ movie.
Thus, the story borrows too much from other properties and ultimately fails to create its own identity. The chemistry between Blunt and Johnson too does not seem to work so well. Maybe because they were earlier cast in films of two different genres.
The storyline is too complicated and it associates with excessive activities and CGI that deprives the ability for the cinemagoers to fathom with. The purring big cat in CGI though is sheer magic and its presence is felt very much.
Hollywood has been opposed to Germans from the olden days and it has been habitual to depict Germans in Hollywood movies as villains. These Germans have all the sophisticated weaponry but they are bad in temperament. Jungle Cruise is no exception. It too makes the villain a German royal who is poised to get his hands on the ‘Tears of the Moon’ by any means. Jesse Plemons as Prince Joachim (the villain) projects the true versatility of an actor and demonstrations how an actor could add value to a character. His performance would catch the attention of all viewers. Yet he would also remind us of a villain in Wonder Woman. (Again a German)
This Hillbilly moonshine drama is very long with many chapters. Hence, one would sit with a container full of popcorns to enjoy it.