Disney Ride ‘Jungle Cruise’ Brought to the Big Screen


Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt play Frank and Lily Houghton in ‘Jungle Cruise.’ Disney.

Sydney Lawson, Staff Writer

If your tolerance for corniness is high, then you might enjoy Disney’s new movie, “Jungle Cruise.” The film is reminiscent of the cheesy adventure movies I adored in my youth. 

“Jungle Cruise” follows Lily Houghton (Emily Blunt) and her brother McGregor Houghton (Jack Whitsall) as they delve into the Amazon, guided by their eccentric tour guide Frank (Dwayne Johnson).

Despite the movie being set in 1912, Lily is not defined by any gender roles of the time period as demonstrated by her headstrong attitude and wardrobe. Lily’s pants are a contrast point of ridicule for male characters, yet Lily seems unphased. 

Throughout their adventure, the trio encounters troublesome creatures, river terrain and legendary warriors as they search for a magical petal known as the Tears of the Moon. The Amazon legend has it that the Tears of the Moon provide complete healing and lift any curse. 

“Jungle Cruise” is based on the Disney ride of the same name. Built in 1955, it was an original from Walt Disney, who oversaw the design of the ride himself, according to USA Today. Frank offers cruises in the film that are accurate portrayals of the real ride, both of which are filled with animatronic animals, imaginative commentary and corny jokes. 

The skipper leads the Jungle Cruise ride designed by Walt Disney with jokes and goofy special effects, according to Disneyland.disney.go.com. Frank played by Dwayne Johnson is the skipper in ‘Jungle Cruise’ who leads the cruise with jokes and elaborate special effects. (Graphic by Maliah White)

The adventure the trio goes on immediately reminds me of old adventure movies of the same genre such as “Jumanji,” “The Mummy,” “Indiana Jones,” “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “The Goonies.” Between the typical safari wardrobe, convenient escapes, eccentric characters and grand quest, this movie is everything you could want from a treasure-hunting film. 

While I did not mind the cheesiness, it certainly may not be for everyone.  This film was given a 63% by Rotten Tomatoes. The movie is purposely outlandish, but sometimes the characters or events are so unbelievable they almost seem ridiculous. 

Relationships in this movie emerge before they even have a chance to develop. I found that the romance between characters felt forced, advancing too quickly and too early on in the film. 

The film isn’t without its merits, however. The wardrobe is good quality and adds to the fantastical, storybook feeling of the film without looking too costume-like. Through wardrobe, set design and special effects, the film successfully created a world of its own without blatantly reminding the viewer of the setting. 

 While “Jungle Cruise” is not anything remarkable, I would certainly not call it a waste of time. It doesn’t have a meaningful plot nor does it stand out against other recent Disney films, but it can provide a good laugh for a family-friendly movie night.