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A fantasy that crowds like, but lacks originality


A fun, funny and wacky fantasy that lacks originality

Source: SIFY

Through: IANS

Critic’s Note: 3/5

Wednesday 22 September 2021

Movie title

Jungle Cruise review: A crowd-pleasing fantasy, but lacks originality


Jaume Collet Serra

Star distribution

Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt, Edgar Ramirez, Jack Whitehall, Jesse Plemons, Paul Giamatti, Veronica Falcon, Dani Rovira, Quim Gutierrez

Depending on your absorption power, director Jaume Collet-Sera’s “Jungle Cruise” story is as simulated as the river merry-go-round at Disneyland.

The assembly is promising. He invites you to take a back seat, to witness the adventure trip in the jungles of the Amazon. Staged in the early 1900s, in typical Indiana Jones style, Dr Lily Houghton (Emily Blunt), an eccentric, adventurous and honorable botanist steals an artifact that would lead her to the ‘Crystal Lagrimas’ tree, also known as – “Tears of the Moon.” She does so in the hope of harnessing her power for modern medicine.

Legend has it that a petal from the tree will cure anything. He can cure any disease or break any curse.

Lily travels to Brazil with her brother MacGregor (Jack Whitehall), where she meets Frank Wolff (Dwayne Johnson), the friendly guide-captain of the barely worthy of the sea steamboat who reluctantly takes them on their quest.

The first half of the story rubs shoulders with the charms of the main duo and their slight visual misadventures. The face-to-face joke between the duo promises some exciting moments to come. But alas, with the overtly complicated backstory and poorly executed visuals, the plot crumbles like an overly buttery cookie.

The tale becomes disappointing, especially after Lily has nightmares of Prince Joachim, an ambitious German royal who pursues them with the same motive. Following this, with the metal sinking and squeaking in the choppy waters of the “Butter Churn” rapids, Frank navigates their boat in spectacular fashion. Instead of getting excited, you feel a bit jaded because the whole exercise feels stuck, mechanical, and underwhelming.

After that, the movie hits the nadir with the convoluted storyline, storyline, and overtly ambitious visual effects, especially with digital snakes sliding around, bees, and vines capturing chasing Spaniards, dragging them back into the jungle. Supernatural elements and curses seem superfluous and stuck.

Sometimes he also seems to have a hangover from the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise. Also, thinking about the movie, you realize that at an early stage we are told – Dr. Lily can’t swim, but later, in an underwater sequence with Frank, she swims gracefully. It only shows that the writers underestimated their audience.

Dwayne Johnson delivers a charming performance as a whimsical and lovable trickster who offers discounted jungle cruises spiced up with fake dangers and cheesy puns. He is aptly associated with Emily Blunt as the nimble-footed Dr. Lily, whom he affectionately calls “Pants,” as she wears one all the time.

Jack Whitehall delivers a solid performance as pampered dandy MacGregor, who thinks it’s no dinner party unless you’re wearing a tuxedo. He attracts a few laughs, but they seem lost in the narrative.

Edgar Ramirez as conquistador Aguirre who betrayed the native guardians of the tree, and Jesse Plemons as Prince Joachim with his large submarine, both as villains lacking luster.

Overall, ‘Jungle Cruise’ is a fun, fun, and wacky fantasy that lacks originality.

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