A Journey through the Amazon
By Nirupa Mohan Dore Ceylon Today Features
Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt take centre stage as Frank Wolff and Lily Houghton, in the latest fantasy adventure film, Jungle Cruise, which released recently.
The story features Lily and her brother, as they embark on a journey through the Amazon with the aid of a skipper, in a quest to find an ancient tree that may hold special powers. This is a fun film that is lighthearted for the most part, with a good dose of humour every step of the way. It is a movie that takes the time to introduce strong characters and build further on how they became the people they are today.
The movie is based on Jungle Cruise by Walt Disney, which is Disney’s Adventureland themed riverboat amusement ride which provides guests with a simulated river cruise experience, through waterways, created with inspiration from several geographic locations in their many parks, with this film based on one such attraction of the same name.
The story follows the lead cast, as they travel along the river through the Amazon jungle, in a small riverboat, in search of an ancient Tree of Life, that may have the power to heal any illness, and could possibly change the world of medicine as we know it, saving countless lives. The film stars Jack Whitehall as McGregor Houghton, Jesse Plemons as Prince Joachim, Quim Gutierrez as Melchor, Paul Giamatti as Nilo Nemolato, Edgar Ramirez as Aguirre, Veronica Falcon as Trader Sam, and Andy Nyman as Sir James HobbsCunningham, working alongside several other members of the cast, with each adding in their own personality to their individual roles. The chemistry between the leads Johnson and Blunt, felt like it naturally grew through the course of the film, making it feel like a well delivered on-screen performance, that gave the film a bit of depth and entertainment value.
Johnson in the film tries to deliver humour throughout by making jokes to amuse those around him, which adds to the film being purely fun to watch. In any movie that has a legend, in this case in the Amazon, that holds the possibility of healing, there would always be a villain to exploit it, and this film introduces a powerful one, as viewers would expect in Disney films, with this villain even taking a submarine to the Amazon, while joining forces with other dangerous part-human creatures who have their own interests. This in turn makes a part of the film feel like the Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean film series.
The 127-minute film by director Jaume Collet-Serra, working together with producers John Fox, Beau Flynn, John Davis, Hiram Garcia, the star himself Dwayne Johnson, and the co-founder of Seven Bucks Productions and Johnson’s ex-wife, Dany Garcia.
Seven Bucks Productions, with co-founder Johnson has made many films starring Johnson, which include 2017’s Baywatch and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, 2019’s Fast and Furious: Hobbs and Shaw, and 2019’s Jumanji: The Next Level, among others.
Made in collaboration with production companies Walt Disney Pictures, Seven Bucks Productions, Flynn Picture Company and Davis Entertainment, with a budget of US $200 million the film managed to rake in just over US $93 million at the worldwide box-office.
Supported by ratings of 63 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes, 50 per cent on Metacritic and 6.7/10 on IMDb, Jungle Cruise was backed by mixed critic with many appreciating the chemistry between the leads and the overall cast, while others felt that the script and screenplay needed more attention.
Set in the Amazon with filming in Atlanta, Georgia, and Hawaii, this is an easily enjoyable performance driven story, which clearly aims to entertain from start to finish, with a 90s adventure feel, with humour, love, danger, magic and even curses. This is a fun film that is a must watch for fans of Johnson and for those who just want to have a few laughs.