Jungle Cruise (the movie)

As someone who doesn’t watch Disney movies, I’ve done quite poorly in the last few years. As well as watching the modern classics Ratatouille (in preparation for riding it at DLP — three times, no wait) and Tangled (to find out who Flynn Rider is — essential, really, if I’m going to marry him) I’ve seen quite a few of the new live-action movies: Beauty and the Beast (on the plane to WDW), Mary Poppins Returns (at DS on a stormy day), Cruella, and now Jungle Cruise.

I have concerns about IP at Disney theme parks — I’ve ranted before about how DLP destroyed their version of Space Mountain by rebranding it as some Star Wars nonsense. It’s one thing to make a ride based on a movie, but now movies based on rides? My expectations were muted. I mean, how good could it be?

Well, very good, actually. The critics aren’t very keen, but the public are, and I always prefer to look at their scores on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s wildly imaginative and creative and really demands to be seen on a big screen, and not my 48-inch TV. The colours and detail are overwhelming and I struggle to imagine how such a thing is made. Sometimes the special effects are too much — think the hot mess that is the Transformers franchise: I prefer long, slowly panning shots where I can take it all in. But there’s plenty of those, too.

Dwayne Johnson does a first class job. Any doubts I might have had about someone from his movie background carrying a film like this were dispelled at an early stage. Who doesn’t love Emily Blunt — though it took me a while to stop seeing her as Mary Poppins. She doesn’t play it as Mary Poppins, but there are echoes. Jack Whitehall may be new to you — he’s done some fantastically funny comedy in the UK, but has also bombed. He’s great in this.

Very minor spoiler: Once again Disney very gently pushes the envelope of inclusivity in a very moving scene in which Whitehall comes out to Johnson, who reacts in exactly the way you would hope. There have been complaints that the word “gay” is not actually used, nor is Whitehall’s sexuality explored, but baby steps, people. I think it’s a big deal for Disney to have done this. America is slow to progress on these issues. We don’t want to scare it off.

Minor spoiler: They push the envelope again when we discover that Trader Sam is a lady! Gosh.

I wouldn’t describe the movie as a comedy, though the tone is light and there are funny moments. One particularly laugh-out-loud moment when a character you want to die dies hilariously. It’s an action / adventure movie that varies in pace, but never gets boring, and is never stressful — perilous situations are always quickly resolved. (I haven’t watched Dumbo because I know bad things happen to him and I would not be able to bear to watch.)

My ratings scale is this:

:star: Walked out of the movie
:star: :star: Fell asleep during the movie
:star: :star: :star: Looked at my watch or phone during the movie
:star: :star: :star: :star: Did neither of the foregoing
:star: :star: :star: :star: :star: Would watch / did watch the movie again
:star: :star: :star: :star: :star: :star: Saw the movie at the cinema one evening and then saw it again the very next day because my mind had been blown. (Only ever awarded once — to Jurassic Park.)

On this scale, River Cruise is :star: :star: :star: :star: :star:

Which is a solid recommendation.

For comparison:

Beauty and the Beast :star: :star: :star: :star:
Mary Poppins Returns :star: :star:
Cruella :star: :star: :star: :star: :star:


I really enjoyed POC. :star::star::star::star::star:

We’ve got JC targeted as soon as Olympics are over.


Pirates of the Caribbean :star: :star: :star:
Whatever the sequel was called :star:

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Now I need to go watch the whole lot of them again. While tossing tea in the harbor. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Oh, one final point. There are a few fairly intense and scary moments (mostly involving snakes, but also a few brief scenes involving large spiders). So not suitable for all kids. Discretion is advised.


We watched it last night and really enjoyed it too. We all loved the moment you talked about above. It is a baby step, but a step forward nonetheless. The three of them (Johnson, Blunt and Whitehall) had a great chemistry together.


Loved it! Definitely see at the movies.

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Did it have the puns?




We saw it today at the theater, and thought it was pretty good. I really enjoyed Jack Whitehall, I didn’t know who he was but asked the kids after where/if we had we seen him in something before. His character was awesome. The movie had a sort of Indiana Jones movie tone to it. It was better than I thought it might be. I do think Cruella was better, but this was a solid film.


We also commented on the Indiana Jones vibe. I love IJ so that was a good thing!


Just got back from the movie theatre. Although it was predictable in parts, we enjoyed it thoroughly. It had true Jungle Cruise humor and was the right mix of comedy and adventure .

I agree it had a Indiana Jones vibe to it in the beginning and I really liked that. Emily Blunt did a wonderful job and plays a strong and truly empowered women in an era that frowned upon it. I am a fan of many of her films; even the non-Disney ones like A Quite Place I & II and the Edge of Tomorrow.

They used a lot of the same tricks they have used in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. That was to be expected as we have been hearing that they are trying to make this the replacement for that franchise.

As stated, it may be a little scary in parts for the little ones, but nothing overly grotesque. Make sure to give it a look before letting your children see.

How do they capitalize upon this in the parks? Merchandise of course. I would be OK if they made a PotC ride that uses a lot of the same visual styles and scenes from this movie. It would be difficult to modify the existing Jungle Cruise to match the majority of the movie - except for the first scene of the movie involving Dwayne Johnson, but I would love to see them try!

I will definitely watch it again when it no longer is part of Premium Access.


You forgot The Devil Wears Prada!


I haven’t seen JC yet. Going to wait until it’s free. :blush:
Favorite live actions so far are Lady and the Tramp and Alladin. I adore Emily Blunt, but couldn’t get over the singing in Mary Poppins. Wasn’t bad, but not Julie Andrews level.


So, for someone who has never been on the ride, but will in Feb. Should we wait until after we’ve ridden the ride? Or can we watch it now?

If it is in the theater, we have a couple of Cinemark credits to use in the next month

I would watch it now. You don’t need to have done the ride to appreciate the movie.


No need to be on the ride first. However, I found the first part of the movie more amusing because I was familiar with the ride.


Enough my DD was furious that we missed JC last weekend when we were at MK. It’s been Yeats since she rode


Has anyone seen the Mummy? The Mummy was my favorite campy adventure movie for years and it still probably would be if parts weren’t culturally dated.

I really enjoyed the Jungle Cruise and really enjoy the main actors, but I struggled because the Blunt/Johnson/Whitehall characters are complete copies of the Weiss/Frasier/Hannah characters in the Mummy. It just distracted me. But I have probably seen the Mummy at least 15 times.


A few have already said this, but I’d recommend watching the movie in the theater. I saw it last night and it was a lot more action-packed than I was expecting (which is a good thing)! That aspect will be lost unless you have a home movie theater. :slight_smile:

It was a really good movie. Some predictability, but humor was on point. Overall, it met my biggest expectation of a movie: it didn’t ever seem slow.