I think we can all agree that Pirates of the Caribbean was the exception to lots of different rules. More specifically, it was the exception to the rule that it is not a good idea to make movies out of the concepts for Disney theme park rides. And we thought Disney learned its lesson with the Haunted Mansion movie. Turns out, they haven’t, and that’s how we have the new Jungle Cruise movie.
Emily Blunt plays Lily Houghton, a scientist who is going through the Amazon in search of a tree said to have magical healing abilities. She’s helped by Frank, played by Dwayne Johnson, who is a riverboat captain who has been looking for the same tree. Together, they must find the tree while battling vaguely Nazi-looking bad guys so they can use the tree for good. The cast is rounded out by Édgar Ramírez, Jack Whitehall, Jesse Plemons, and Paul Giamatti. The director, Jaume Collet-Serra, is best known for his action thrillers, which is a good sign, and is directing the Black Adam film set to premiere in 2021.
While the movie does appear to have good action sequences, and solid chemistry between Blunt and Johnson, I have to wonder whether Disney is just looking to make movies out of whatever intellectual properties it has on the off chance something will stick. Now that they have nearly all of Marvel, Star Wars, and all the properties under 20th Century Fox, they’ll likely never be hurting for money again. Still, just because you can doesn’t mean you should. We’ll just have to wait and see if this film is smooth sailing or snake-infested.
Jungle Cruise is set to premiere in theaters on June 24, 2020.