Outposter Creativityishard/KK returns once again with a contribution. This time the strange nocturnal hours she keeps have meant that she can be watching Jungle Cruise and reviewing it for us while most of us were still in bed! Here she is with her Jungle Cruise review.
The Back Side Of Water
I love the Jungle Cruise ride. I love that it is kitsch with cheesy jokes. I am going to Disneyland in August and I told my best friend we need to go on the Jungle Cruise, but I never felt like I needed a movie to explain the ride… until now. So, yay for the Rock because he helped produce that Jungle Cruise movie.
Before I watched the Jungle Cruise movie, I watched the Behind the Attraction episode on Disney+. If you have Disney+ it’s a 30 something minute episode that felt like an episode of Defunctland.
So a lot of the episode is stuff any Disney nerd knows. Creating Disneyland they marked which trees would be saved and which would be taken out with red and green markers only for the bulldozer guy to be color blind, and all the orange trees were demolished. All the Disney dorks know that.
Walt would buy grown trees from local folks, and one of them is called the Dominguez Palm, which was a palm tree given to a new married couple (the Dominguez’s), and placed in the Jungle Cruise in 1956, only for it to still be there. That’s a cool factoid. Oh! And Ron Dominguez, grandson of the Dominguez Palm couple, was a skipper on the ride. I found that sweet. The Imagineers used upside-down orange trees to create the otherworldly roots for the jungle trees to create the look of the jungle rivers.
But the ride is based on The African Queen, and Disney’s True Life Adventure. The original ride wasn’t a funny ride. It was a serious, exploration ride. But Mark Davis helped change the ride to be a fun silly ride.
Thanks to this change we now have “the back side of water.”
Now onto the Jungle Cruise review…
The movie is a lot of fun. If you are a Disney dork then the movie is even more fun. The plot is simple. A brother and sister duo, played by Jack Whitehall and Emily Blunt, are trying to fulfill their father’s quest of finding the Tears of the Moon, a mythical plant that can cure any disease. They’re laughed out of polite English scientific society, which is made up of staunchly white elderly men. They decide to find it themselves. They hire a con artist boat operator who says he can get them there…. and the adventure begins!
An African Queen
The movie heavily relies a lot on The African Queen of 1951 with Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn.
The movie plays into the two strong-willed leads and both of their chemistry. The African Queen is often named one of the romantic movies of all time. This movie wants to rank up there.
Blunt and Johnson both play off of each other and there are times where the viewer can see they want to strangle each other.
Whitehall is fine. I mean his character is fine. Nothing amazing but he does play inconvenienced British man just fine. I know he’s supposed to be queer coded, but if he’s supposed to be gay based on how he acts then so is John Hannah from The Mummy movies. Maybe I need to watch The Mummy again. It’s never outright stated MacGregor is a gay man, he never says it, but there is a conversation about something that pretty much spells it out. So unless you’re bad at spelling, then… you know!
The rest of the cast is okay. Jesse Plemons plays a German man with a submarine and we never truly get his motivation, but he’s supposed to be the bad guy. Edgar Ramírez plays his part well. I’m not gonna give it away, but he’s good.
The visuals are beautiful. They fully create an Adventure Land that Disney dorks will love. Setting the film in 1918 makes this an old-fashioned world that’s lush with innovation. A world I’d like to explore. Proxima, the Jaguar, may have some spotty CGI moments but the acting around her makes you feel like she actually exists, and takes up space in the scenes.
The story, CGI, and music are all serviceable for the arc of story and for the movie stars in the roles. Basically the movie is Blunt and Johnson playing out an ‘enemies to lovers’ trope, and I’m fully into that.
The movie reminded me a lot of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, sometimes in a bad way, relying too heavily on CGI and curses!
Things from the ride did show up. Albert Falls shows up within minutes. The dad jokes are heavily in the script, in a good way. Even the citrus trees root thing showed up. I was glad I watched the Behind the Attraction episode before. Maybe I should have tried to deep dive into some YouTube history of the ride before? If you have never been on the ride, you can still enjoy the movie. It felt like an Indiana Jones or Romancing the Stone type of movie. The movie keeps itself open for other movies, which I would want to see. So that’s my Jungle Cruise review. Enjoy!