Movie Review: Jungle Cruise

Dwayne Johnson has proved he can do comedy. It’s been an evolutionary process, but he has that self-awareness that helps his humour style. He knows his way around a good pun. Good on him for not taking himself too seriously. 

Image via

So his comedy chops are applied to this yet another theme park ride movie. Do we really need it as they Hepburn and Bogart-style it or will this cruise sink into a heart of darkness?

Blunt’s scientist Lily Houghton is smart resourceful and under-appreciated. She’s wearing the pants in the relationship – much to Johnson’s MacGregor and everyone else’s distaste – as she goes off on a search for some arrowhead or other last seen at the end of theme park river ride.

There’s some additional pantomime villainy to boo at, but I was losing interest in the plot, but happy enough to go with the flow.

It starts off feeling like a Spielberg movie from the 80s. And just like a certain Speilberg film, the Germans are the bad guys in this film. It makes liberal use of CGI for the action which takes away a little of the narrative magic. It’s a quest and fate acceptance film with some CGI enhancement that doesn’t really enhance the story. The CGI is not completely convincing and takes away any sense of danger.

Jungle Cruise is firmly aimed at kids as it hams up to whatever level is an excessive amount of ham. Paul Giamatti provides most of said ham and pantomime.

We’re at peak Blunt and Johnson at the moment, but not with this Pirates of the Caribbean level of drama. They are good in their roles with Johnson in particular expressive and well suited to the role in this limited story.

The film looks colourful and vibrant, these are kids-ready visuals.

The little bits of feminism-lite are welcome, but not exactly substantial, but shouldn’t be completely ignored and be appreciated. 

It won’t exactly be replacing African Queen and the running time for this kind of film feels a little too long. There are too many scenes keen on recreating a theme park ride, but it’s fun and light and manages to keep afloat.