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Disney’s Jungle Cruise has finally docked in Theatres and on Disney+ Premier Access. We’ve seen it, we’ve digested it and it’s time to give an opinion on this classic watery attraction turned action-packed movie.

Disney has once again tried their hand at creating a film from one of its classic Disney Park attractions. Most notably the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise (2003) and The Haunted Mansion (2003). They’ve even forced a script out of Tower of Terror (1997) and let’s not talk about Tomorrowland (2015).
Jungle Cruise is the newest story to be told in film format so you won’t have to visit one of the many Disney Parks across the globe.

First off, the casting is excellent. Mr Dwayne Johnson plays our pun-filled Skipper in his third film with ‘Jungle’ in the title. Emily Blunt has hung up her Mary Poppins Umbrella to cement her role as a ‘take no shit adventurer’. Watching the opening scenes it’s easy to think that you are watching a remake of Indiana Jones with Blunt as the lead. She brings excellent comedic timing and stunts a plenty Her chemistry with Johnson was also perfect. Finalising our trio of water-based leads is a fellow Brit, Jack Whitehall. Seemingly over his Frozen Snub, he’s finally been cast in a role that has not been cut! As a fan of Jack, it was great to see him cast but after seeing the film it’s a role that could have been filled by many an actor.

So how close is it to the story of the attraction?

Well, not very! The ride itself does not have much of a story. It’s also set in Africa where-as the film is based in South America. The opening scenes are reminiscent of the ride, a skipper leading tourists around the river delivering poor puns. It was nice to see this integrated as it would have not sold the film as an adaptation of the fan loved ride otherwise.

As the film progresses we are treated to some great comic moments but also some quite scary moments. This is not your average Disney film. It has some strong jump scares. Also, snakes, oh so many snakes. Some of the green screening effects and obvious virtual sets were sometimes slightly off but the acting took the forefront, thankfully.

It is also worth pointing out that one of the villains, Jesse Plemmons channels his inner Christoph Waltz magnificently. It was a little distracting at times but Plemmons played a blinder in Jungle Cruise.

Overall, it was an enjoyable film for a lover of the Disney attraction and it was pleasant to see a full story derived from such a great ride. It would be a shame if Disney shoehorns elements from the film into the ride though. It’s worth a watch if you have kids but with its 12a rating it’s not for young viewers! There are some great jokes for us adults but some themes that may be lost on kids.

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

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