Jungle Cruise

Jungle Cruise
Running time:127 minutes
Director:Jaume Collet-Serra
Release date:30 july 2021
Intrepid researcher Dr. Lily Houghton leaves London for South America in search of a miraculous cure. To sail down the Amazon River, she hires Frank Wolff, a shrewd captain as dubious as his dilapidated old raft, La Quila. Determined to discover the age-old tree whose extraordinary healing powers could change the future of medicine, the two embark on an epic quest. The unlikely duo will team up to face countless dangers - not to mention supernatural forces - hidden beneath the lush splendor of the rainforest. As the secrets of the lost tree are gradually revealed, the stakes become even higher for Lily and Frank. It is not only their fate that is at stake, but that of all humanity...

Mulder's Review

Every summer brings us its share of American blockbusters, films tailor-made to be impressive and to entertain spectators who are more and more difficult to get into a movie theater. However, the current context has forever changed the deal and more and more movies in the United States are released at the same time in theaters and on a streaming platform, whether it is HBO Max or Disney +, the American distributors have forever changed the deal even if it means that some exhibitors have seen their box office collapse very quickly while the audience seems to prefer discovering the new movies at home in front of a big TV. However, it would be a shame to discover these blockbusters elsewhere than in an excellent movie theater. It's not a coincidence that Jungle Cruise offers a beautiful 3D Imax version that allows the film to capture all our attention from the first scene to the last.

 During World War I, steamboat captain Frank Wolff (Dwayne Johnson) transports British scientist Dr. Lily Houghton (Emily Blunt) and her brother MacGregor (Jack Whiteball) on a mission to the jungle to find the Tree of Life, which is believed to possess healing powers that could be very useful to modern medicine. All the while, the trio must contend with dangerous wild animals, a hot and dangerous environment, and a rival German imperial expedition that is determined to find the tree first using a submarine.  With such a scenario, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures recaptures the epic spirit of the great adventure films, including the Indiana Jones saga, but also films from the 1950s such as The African Queen (1951) by John Huston.

The director Jaume Collet-Serra, who is much more used to smaller productions, had caught our attention with excellent action films tailored to Liam Neeson (Unknown (2011), Non-stop (2014), Night Run (Run All Night) (2015), The Passenger (The Commuter) (2018)) but also with ambitious thrillers like Esther (2009), Instinct de survie (The Shallows) (2018). It is not a coincidence that the director has once again found the actor Dwayne Johnson for the highly anticipated Black Adam (2021). Jungle Cruise transcends the simple film adaptation of a Disneyland attraction as was the case previously with the film saga Pirates of the Caribbean but also the very forgettable The Haunted Mansion. The scriptwriters do not hesitate to make several references to the movies that inspired it, whether it is snakes, fantastic elements that recall Pirates of the Caribbean. 

What would have been more than a simple blockbuster perfectly mastered yet manages to surprise us especially to finally give the actor Dwayne Johnson finally a different role and reveal that he is indeed the worthy heir of the action comedians and comedies of the 80s. Equally at ease in dramatic moments, comedic scenes or action, Dwayne Johnson proves to be perfect and easily competes with the excellent actress that is Emily Blunt. The trio they form with actor Jack Whiteball is definitely one of the highlights of this excellent family entertainment.

Director Jaume Collet-Serra can not only rely on the presence of the sublime Emily Blunt who from the first scene of the film shows us that she is very comfortable in action scenes. She brings her fragility, her magnetism on screen to the film Jungle Cruise. What the film loses in originality, it regains it by its perfect tempo and spectacular special effects and perfectly brought. It's impossible not to get caught up in a film with undeniable charm that will make you spend an excellent moment far from the gloomy atmosphere that the worldwide pandemic of covid 19 drags in its wake.

In the same way we can only greet the excellent music of James Newton Howard which brings to the film a spectacular dimension. The excellent use of Metallica's cult song Nothing Else Matters will remain in your memory long after seeing this film. While we are waiting with impatience for Harrison Ford to come back to the cinema in the role of Indiana Jones or for the adventure cinema to find all its vitality, Jungle Cruise is great entertainment and is even better appreciated in its Imax version as the one proposed in the best cinema of France, the Imax room of Gaumont Disney Village in France.

Jungle Cruise
Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra
Screenplay by Michael Green, Glenn Ficarra, John Requa
Story by John Norville, Josh Goldstein, Glenn Ficarra, John Requa
Based on Jungle Cruise by Walt Disney
Produced by John Davis, John Fox, Beau Flynn, Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia, Hiram Garcia
Starring Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt, Édgar Ramírez, Jack Whitehall, Jesse Plemons, Paul Giamatti
Cinematography: Flavio Labiano
Edited by Joel Negron
Music by James Newton Howard
Production companies: Walt Disney Pictures, Davis Entertainment, Seven Bucks Productions, Flynn Picture Company
Distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Release date : July 24, 2021 (Disneyland Resort), July 28, 2021 (France) July 30, 2021 (United States)
Running time : 127 minutes

Seen on July 28, 2020 at Gaumont Disney Village, Room 11 IMAX seat F19

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