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Film Review: Jungle Cruise

11:00 August 10, 2021
By: David Vicari

Jungle Cruise is a great example of a so-so movie that coasts on the charm of its stars. Emily Blunt and Dwayne Johnson have such great chemistry with each other, that the movie's shortcomings take a backseat...well, most of the time.

It's 1916, and Dr. Lily Houghton (Emily Blunt) and her uptight brother, MacGregor, (Jack Whitehall) are searching for the mythical Tears of the Moon—a tree whose petals can supposedly cure all illnesses and injuries. They track the supposed whereabouts of the tree to the Amazon and hire river guide and scam artist Frank Wolff (Dwayne Johnson) to take them down the treacherous river in his dilapidated boat. Also in pursuit of Lily and the tree is German aristocrat Prince Joachim (Jesse Plemons) in his well-equipped submarine.

This is based on a Disney World amusement park ride and should be a breezy adventure film, but just like another Disney ride inspired movie series, The Pirates of the Caribbean, it's bogged down with too many supernatural story elements and it's all just slavered with computer-generated effects. Still, Jungle Cruise isn't quite as bloated as those Pirates movies, and I did enjoy the often hilarious bickering between the two main characters.

Jungle Cruise is in theaters now and is also streaming on Disney+ with Premier Access.

** ½ stars (out of four)

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