Upon embarking into a screening of Jungle Cruise, I thought this would be a film about a river cruise with stars attached to the title. I wasn’t entirely wrong, but I walked out feeling like Emily Blunt and Dwayne Johnson had just solidified themselves among the lovable, comedy romance duos like Hepburn and Tracy, Colbert and Gable, Gere and Roberts simply based on their chemistry which is crazy entertaining.
Inhabiting the roles of wanna be comedian river boat Captain Frank Wolff (Dwayne Johnson) and researcher Dr. Lily Houghton (Emily Blunt), these actors have some of the best cinematic entrances on ladders and ropes that kept me riveted. Yet, it all begins when Lily travels to the Amazon jungle and enlists Frank’s services in guiding her downriver on his tore up from the floor up boat in order for her to uncover an ancient tree with healing abilities which possesses power to change the future of medicine. Thus, while on this journey the unlikely duo falls in love with sacrifices only people in love would make for one another.
Based on the ride of the same name in the Disney theme parks, which has delighted fans for generations, park goers are likely to recognize elements brought to cinematic life. Dwayne Johnson telling really bad pun jokes is worth the price of admission alone. Although Blunt and Johnson’s chemistry and comedic prowess warrant a spin off of them in a different setting, it’s not enough to save this high on action, low on substance tropical adventure film from falling flat from time to time. Although, I did kinda love them going for a Disney version of Bogart and Hepburn’s African Queen and the killer cougar who plays catch resembling an overgrown cat that whines when his owner is out of sight. Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra and produced by Disney, Jungle Cruise is an escapist, entertaining fantastical flick for families to enjoy during a time where we all just want to smile, laugh and be entertained. For the record, let me just point out that Johnson consistently tackles roles where is just a human being in extraordinary circumstances and not based on his creed or color. I wholeheartedly applaud him tenfold and look forward to him continuing to do so regardless of film genre. Let’s get Blunt and Johnson in a Harry Met Sally situation on screen sooner than later.