Jungle Cruise (Disney+) – Movie Review
Follow Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Distributor: Disney
Duration: 127 minutes

Jungle Cruise (Disney+) – Movie Review

Site Score
Good: Sometimes quite 'punny', Overall atmosphere
Bad: Just way too long, Pacing issues, Bland
User Score
(2 votes)
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Rating: 2.5/10 (2 votes cast)

Disney is eagerly trying to reinvent some of its older rides in their massive theme parks, and this is quite understandable as in Jungle Cruise’s case the ride is already 66 years old. With our ever-changing political climate, some humor is deemed inappropriate nowadays, and thus the old ride gets a proper makeover. For now, however, we’ll have to make do with the cinematic version of Jungle Cruise, putting Dwayne Johnson at the helm of a leaky boat in the depths of the Amazon rainforest. While the trailers had us gripped before the movie’s release, we more than often wanted to get off this ride and go back to that other franchise that is also based on an actual ride, Pirates of the Caribbean.

Jungle Cruise tells a fairly simple story. You’ll see Dr. Lily Houghton (Emily Blunt) and her brother MacGregor (Jack Whitehall) embark on a journey through the Amazon, hopefully uncovering a story that has always been brushed off as a myth. In the heart of the Amazon, there is a tree that is supposed to have petals that can restore life, cure any illness or break any curse. However, nobody ever ventures this deep in the forest and it is considered a fool’s errand. Adding the fact that she’s being chased by a power-hungry German prince and has to rely on a shady businessman and skipper, Frank (Dwayne Johnson), whilst possibly having to deal with a centuries-old curse, then you know it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Jungle Cruise’s flow is what drags the entire experience down to the bottom of the river. The movie cannot find a proper pace to make the ride pleasant, as it constantly goes from one action sequence to another, all the while trying to build up a shallow story. For the first hour and a half, we did not get a moment to sit back and enjoy the experience, and we just had to endure one hectic scene after another, hoping we’d get something of any substance. Sure, the story was fleshed out a bit, but in a fashion that we actually didn’t care in the slightest what happened to the characters shown on screen. Shortening the experience and making it less bombastic would have worked in the movie’s favor. Even with its bright moments sprinkled in-between the samey action scenes, we still wanted to get off this damn ride.

We have to be honest, the acting performances are absolutely top-notch in this film. Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt do have a lot of chemistry going on, and this adds a redeeming quality to the film. Jack Whitehall as MacGregor Houghton was also a great choice, but sadly the character gets fleshed out almost in the same fashion as John Hannah’s version of Jonathan Carnahan in the 1999 rendition of The Mummy. Supporting roles were also properly handled, and the villain also had that iconic Disney villain feel to him, but we didn’t really care for many of the characters. We feel like Edgar Ramirez’s (CGI) performance was completely useless, and they could have saved his appearance for the movie’s final minutes.

In terms of what extras we’d expect from a physical release, it’s hard to actually say. We would love to see some ‘making of’ content, as well as some information on the actual ride, and how it has evolved over the years. How some scenes came to life with CGI would also be nice, but we have to be honest when we say that there were a lot of shoddily handled CGI elements shown in the film, even to the point you could see the cast members’ outline contrasting the CGI-created environments.


Jungle Cruise has its very entertaining moments but struggles to keep itself afloat during its two-hour voyage. In the slick Amazon river, the film cannot find its footing and tries to go all-out with constant action sequences that stress you out more than they entertain you. The cast is nicely chosen for this adventurous ride, but it’s mainly the writing and inclusion of many utterly completely useless scenes that are detrimental to the overall experience. The movie could have easily been half an hour shorter, have a few tranquil moments, and just highlight the important things a bit more. What also played to the movie’s disadvantage was that it basically tried to mimic what The Mummy (1999) has done many years before, as well as many other references to other older classic films.

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Rating: 2.5/10 (2 votes cast)
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Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
Jungle Cruise (Disney+) - Movie Review, 2.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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