The Jungle Cruise Jungle Quiz with Dwayne Johnson & Emily Blunt

Entertainment

IGN 30 July, 2021 - 05:25pm 43 views

Can you watch jungle cruise on Disney plus?

Jungle Cruise is available through Disney Plus' Premier Access model. With Premier Access, films cost $30 to unlock on top of the price you pay for a Disney Plus subscription. CNETJungle Cruise on Disney Plus: What to know to stream it, Black Widow and everything else

When will Jungle Cruise be free on Disney plus?

Will 'Jungle Cruise' be free on Disney Plus? “Jungle Cruise” will not be free for Disney Plus subscribers until it becomes available to everyone on Nov. 12. The only way to gain access to the film until then is to pay the premium $29.99 fee after subscribing to Disney Plus. nj.comHow do I watch ‘Jungle Cruise’ on Disney Plus?

Where was Jungle Cruise filmed?

The action-comedy adventure, filmed in Hawaii but located in a fictionalized Amazon, set out to course-correct some of the Jungle Cruise ride's more uncomfortable aspects. Los Angeles TimesHow the 'Jungle Cruise' movie and Disneyland ride connect

Is Jungle Cruise a kids movie?

Rip-roaring fun for kids who don't mind skeletons. Above-average action-adventure with lots of violence. Some thrills, but may be too much for little ones. ... Indy's first adventure is a rip-roaring action masterpiece. commonsensemedia.orgJungle Cruise Movie Review

Disney's Jungle Cruise - Official Extended Clip (2021) Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt

IGN 31 July, 2021 - 04:00am

Thursday turned out to be a surprisingly good day for folks waiting for news on Marvel Studios and Disney+'s Hailee Steinfeld (Kate Bishop) and Jeremy Renner (Clint Barton)-starring Hawkeye, with perhaps the biggest news being that the series will end up being an early Thanksgiving present. That's right, the series is set to premiere on Wednesday, November 24- and to go along with the news, Renner had some thoughts to share with EW about Steinfeld's Kate as well as Renner & Steinfeld's on-set dynamic. But we would be remiss if we didn't also share the first officially-cleared-by-"The-Mouse" look at Clint meeting his biggest fan (more on that in a second).

Renner shared some thoughts about how he views Kate from Clint's perspective with EW. "[Kate is] a 22-year-old kid and she's a big Hawkeye fan," Renner reveals. "She has a wonderfully annoying and equally charming manner about her because she's such a fangirl of Hawkeye. The relationship grows from that, but the biggest problem for Clint is Kate Bishop and the onslaught of problems that she brings into his life."

But as much as Clint may be taking on the role of "begrudging mentor" to Kate, Renner was more than happy to help Steinfeld get adjusted to working in the MCU. "That was always my role. Outside of acting in the thing, I was protecting her and giving her the CliffsNotes on how it goes with this kind of filmmaking: Green screen, superhero life, all that stuff," Renner explained. "I just wanted to protect her, because there's a lot of physical stuff. She's a wonderful actress, a wonderful human, and I can't wait to see all the cool stuff that she's able to do."

Renner and Steinfeld are being joined by a pretty impressive line-up of names. Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel) is attached to play Eleanor Bishop, mother of Kate Bishop (Steinfeld), while Fra Fee (The Spanish Princess) is set to play Kazi (most likely short for Kazimierz Kazimierczak) aka mercenary villain Clown in the comics. Tony Dalton's (Better Call Saul) Jack Duquesne (aka Swordsman?), a possible mentor for Hawkeye who has lived on both sides of the law throughout this comic book career. Florence Pugh will reprise the role of spy and assassin Yelena Belova, sister of Black Widow, from the Scarlett Johansson-starring film Black Widow. Alaqua Cox's Maya Lopez (aka Echo) is a deaf Native American who is capable of perfectly copying another person's movements, making her a formidable fighter. Zahn McClarnon's (Barkskins) William Lopez is expected to be a take on Maya's father Willie "Crazy Horse" Lincoln from the comics.

Bleeding Cool TV on Instagram: For all of the stuff too random and bizarre to make the site, make sure to follow us on Instagram (with an official launch on June 19): Bleeding Cool TV (@bleedingcooltv).

BCTV Daily Dispatch: For a look at what's going on across the television and streaming landscape, sign up for Bleeding Cool's daily email round-up of the news you need to know here.

"Stunty Blunty!" Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, Emily Blunt & Jack Whitehall on Jungle Cruise nicknames

BBC Radio 1 31 July, 2021 - 04:00am

Jungle Cruise, starring The Rock and Emily Blunt, is streaming now on Disney Plus Premier Access

Based on Walt Disney's iconic theme park ride (yes, really), Jungle Cruise sees Dr Lily Houghton (Blunt) and wisecracking skipper Frank Wolff (The Rock) team up for the adventure of a lifetime on a rollicking ride down the Amazon river. But with supernatural forces lurking in the trees, the fate of La Quila – and all who sail on her – hangs in the balance. Paul Giamatti also stars as harbourmaster Nilo.

Disney Plus is the place to watch Jungle Cruise. Viewers in the UK, USA, Australia and most European territories can stream Jungle Cruise from 30th July by subscribing and then paying a one-off fee:

When you think about it, Disney+ Premier Access costs a lot less than a family outing to the cinema (and that's before you buy the popcorn and drinks). Better yet, once you pay for Premier Access to Jungle Cruise, you can watch it as many times as you like.

Very easily. The Disney+ app is available on a range of TVs, phones and streaming devices, including iPhones, iPads, the iPod Touch and Apple TV, Android phones, Android TVs, Chromecast devices, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Roku streaming players, Now TV's Smart Stick (take note here: Disney+ isn't available on any Now TV daily or weekly TV pass) and Roku TVs.

Disney+ can also be found on the Sky Q platform.

Disney+ Premier Access allows subscribers to watch brand new movies at an additional cost, before the films are made available to all Disney+ subscribers.

Disney dreamed up the idea in 2020 in response to the widespread closure of cinemas. It provides a neat way to see major releases such as Black Widow and Jungle Cruise from the comfort of your own home. 

All Premier Access titles are available through Disney Plus in 4K Dolby Vision HDR and with immersive Dolby Atmos sound, making the experience as cinematic as possible – assuming your devices support those formats.

Short answer: yes. Providing you have a TV or home cinema set-up that is compatible with 4K, Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos, you'll be able to watch Jungle Cruise in the best possible quality.

Disney+ titles are displayed and play in the maximum quality available through your hardware, so if, for example, your TV supports all three technologies you'll see the logos for each within the title's description on the Disney+ interface.

Signed up to Disney+ but don't know where to start? Or maybe you're simply wondering what content is available in 4K, HDR10, Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos. You're in luck: we have the answers. 

We've done the hard work to recommend the best movies and TV shows to watch on Disney Plus, from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker to Avengers: EndgameThe Mandalorian to The Simpsons, and of course our pick of the classic Disney movies. So, please, be our guest: our 11 of the best Disney Plus shows and movies to watch right now is the place. 

Read our full Disney Plus review

Treat your eyes and ears to 23 of the best live streams and concerts

Thank you for signing up to What Hi-Fi?. You will receive a verification email shortly.

There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.

Best music streamers 2021: upgrade to a wireless system

Best wireless speakers 2021: wonderful wi-fi speakers for all budgets

© Future Publishing Limited Quay House, The Ambury, Bath BA1 1UA. All rights reserved. England and Wales company registration number 2008885.

Jungle Cruise: Emily Blunt MOCKS Dwayne Johnson’s Private Gym Workouts

Entertainment Tonight 31 July, 2021 - 04:00am

‘Jungle Cruise’ Arrives As Streaming Is “Cannibalizing” Box Office, Analyst Says; Movie Business Could See Cord-Cutting-Like Spiral

Deadline 30 July, 2021 - 02:07pm

Jungle Cruise isn’t, at least as of this writing, the same kind of battleground in Hollywood as Black Widow, whose financial returns prompted star Scarlett Johansson to sue Disney.

Yet one seasoned Wall Street analyst says the latest day-and-date movie release by Disney highlights an existential dilemma for the movie business that goes far beyond talent relations.

“We think we are at the cusp of a new non-virtuous circle emerging for moviegoing, similar to the cord-cutting cycle” in pay-TV, Robert Fishman of MoffettNathanson wrote in a note to clients today. Jungle Cruise, like Black Widow, is opening in theaters but is also available for a $30 extra charge to Disney+ subscribers and the results should only add to the swirl of strategic questions.

The Delta variant and rising Covid-19 infections are certainly putting a damper on box office, Fishman acknowledged. But soft theatrical results for a range of wide releases in July can be directly linked to streaming. “The availability of many movies outside the exclusive traditional theatrical window provides traditional moviegoers a new option that is likely cannibalizing movie theater attendance,” the analyst wrote. “Consumer habits have changed as a result of the pandemic due to more streaming content in the home (most of which are included already in the monthly subscription price).”

The more common day-and-date release patterns get, Fishman argues, the greater the pressure on theatrical grosses. Distributors then hesitate based on the weaker returns, and decide to feed their streaming services, and the cycle continues. Streaming subscriber growth is, of course, the alpha and omega for all media companies as they race to catch up with Netflix, making executives more willing to sacrifice theatrical revenue. And that makes it less and less likely, in Fishman’s view, that theatrical box office will ever return to its previous levels.

Disney isn’t the only studio shaking up traditional windows approaches. Warner Bros took the first dramatic shot at disrupting things at the end of 2020, declaring that its entire 2021 slate would stream on HBO Max at the same time it hit theaters. But Fishman, who specializes in the exhibition sector, notes that Universal also went day-and-date with its Boss Baby sequel and Paramount is doing so with its Paw Patrol movie next month. In all, dozens of releases in a recovering marketplace have been widely available in the home without any delay.

Fishman attempts to take stock of where things might settle out in 2022 and beyond, in an environment with fewer Covid issues. The 68% second-week drop by Black Widow, while more severe than most Marvel releases by Disney, is not all that much greater than two poster-child hits with exclusive theatrical windows, he points out. Universal’s F9 fell 67%, while A Quiet Place, Part II dropped 59% in Week 2.

Still, Disney has been “one of the most aggressive studios” in terms of experimenting with windows, he notes. Even after Covid subsides, the studio will likely restore theatrical exclusivity for Marvel films while preserving it for family fare. Those titles accounted for about one-third of the company’s industry-leading box office haul in 2019. Exactly how many theatrical windows are restored (even if they’re far shorter than the traditional three month duration) will determine the fate of the theatrical business.

As the National Association of Theatre Owners recognized when it blasted Disney’s Black Widow strategy this month, Disney wields huge influence, controlling roughly half of the domestic box office. “While the Delta variant could be cooling the anticipated pent-up demand to return to the movies in the near term, it is possible we are already seeing changing consumer behavior limit the likelihood of ever returning to pre-pandemic box office levels,” Fishman wrote. “To us, one thing is clear: Disney holds the fate of the box office in its hands.”

Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.

Comments On Deadline Hollywood are monitored. So don't go off topic, don't impersonate anyone, and don't get your facts wrong.

Maybe if the theaters didnt charge so much for the tickets and the snacks people wouldnt mind. Or maybe if they made it a better experience and you dont pay 50 bucks to see a movie in a theater full of screaming kids or young adults who are talking and on their phones the whole movie. My experience at the theater hasn’t been that good in a long time because of things I mentioned above. I used to love the movies but now it’s just an expensive hassle.

Forgetting history leads to impotent, contemporary opinions. Remember vaudeville anyone? What happened to that is what’s happening to movie theaters.

Plus ca change…. (The more things change…)

This particular issue really divides Disney shareholders as well. There’s no question Chapek left money on the table for Black Widow but the Marvel content iis one of the biggest selling points for Disney+. If it was me I probably would have skipped theatrical entirely for a free Disney+ debut. Five million net additional subscribers would cover the expense and then some quickly enough.

What will be the excuse theater owners and supporters use when Shang Chi tanks at the BO in a month? It is a pure theater only release, you can’t shove people into a crowded theater during a pandemic, this will go on and on for the next 2 years at least. Disney will realize this and go back to releasing movies on BOTH Disney+ and theaters at the same time. One month and we’ll know who is right.

You literally just answered your own question.

I agree with the actors. They make millions because they make the studios billions. As I said in Feb. of 2020 we will not get back to normal until mid-2022. The studios would be wise not to piss off the talent that feeds…their bottom line.

Actually, and it seems counterintuitive, several academic studies have shown that the prestige of an actor has little to do with box office performance. You can Google all this. It really comes down to the popularity and attractiveness of the story. Certainly, with big names, marketing effect for the first weekend is stronger, but that’s where the value stops. After that first weekend, it’s all about the quality of the film/story advertised by word of mouth. That is not counterintuitive.

Distribution patterns for media content are changing faster because of the pandemic, and that isn’t a bad thing when a company like Disney takes in 100-120 million on Direct Access where they own the largest share/cut of the pie, instead of having that same level of cash in the theaters where they only get 40%, its a win.

I do hope we get the full numbers of how much each Direct Access release earned and from what sources. I have a hunch its been the only means that most of these movies turned a profit.

Here’s a little secret… for decades Hollywood used the home video — now streaming — market to get films into the black. First with VHS, then with the once robust DVD market.

Obviously, day-and-date releases are good for the consumer, most of whom love being able to sit in the comfort of their own homes instead of having to put on clothing, get in their cars or on public transportation, spend time commuting, and then sit amongst random people who may or may not cause a nuisance.

But companies are leaving money on the table. Once life gets back to being closer to how it was last decade, which may not happen until some point next year, companies are going to have to resume the use of windows as a fiduciary duty to their shareholders.

Day and date makes no sense from a financial standpoint. They have basically eliminated one revenue stream. Theaters that make money for 90 days and then people who liked the movie will pay again digitally or blu ray or 4k. Instead, studios somehow think that having people buy a movie is better for them. It eliminates people watching a movie more than once in theaters – if that’s the only place to see it – not sure why that makes financial sense and you will see less budgets for movies. It’s called movies not movies to be seen on TV.

But the kicker is those that stay on those streaming services. How many people go to movie theaters multiple times a year? We saw some numbers with the movie pass debacle but also with the aftermath of its changes and people refusing to go back to theaters.

It’s one thing if a customer sees a single movie once or twice with a family but if they don’t go back to theaters for months then it’s a consistent hit or miss situation. I would take consistent revenue over constant risk and reward.

Meanwhile even if money is left on the floor with day-and-date streaming you continue to financially gain by holding onto customers. $30 for a single movie for Disney plus $8 a month

You said it perfectly. They are literally skipping an entire basket of money. It makes zero sense.

Sorry but the people who aren’t going to the megaplax still won’t go if you stop the streaming. Add to which they will lose interest, get royally spoiled, and move on to what’s current. This is your final clue.

If the Premier Access window option adds subscribers to their service and / or keeps them from churning off…then why do they care about the residual income from the traditional model that you think they’re missing out on?

You’re talking about a one time transaction, that you have no idea if this consumer would have even participated in, instead of that same D+ subscriber getting charged $8/month (which will inevitably be higher), for as long as they’re on the platform.

By the end of 2024 they’re going to have 250M subscribers worldwide. Assuming the price is the same, you’re talking about $2B/month of recurring revenue.

Why on earth would they care about anything you’re both complaining about if it creates a business that’s bringing in $24B/year ON TOP OF whatever box office receipts, D+ receipts, Home Ent receipts…etc etc from that piece of content?

I’m not a fan of the Premier Access strategy, especially in light of the revelation that Disney purposefully screwed over talent in doing so, but it’s incredibly manipulative not to mention the fact that both Disney and Warner have already made it clear they’re returning to exclusive theatrical windows (beginning with SHANG-CHI for Disney and in January 2022 for Warner).

Oh no, how will get from point A to B without a horse? These crazy steam-powered contraptions are ruining horsebreeders, the hay industry, fecal street shovelers, saddlemakers. When will this terrible progression end?

Sorry but there’s been no film worth masking up, heading to the theater and then listening to the crunching, coughing, straw slurping and talking among theater goers. While I’ve gone to the theater a couple times these past few months, one thing the pandemic has shown is I can be selective and watch the crap being served at home. I couldn’t care less it theaters survive. Adapt to the new model and quit bitching.

Huge ass epic movies need a huge ass epic screen. I’ll see Dune at a theater. But that’s a rarity. Last one like that was Endgame. Everything else is ok for streaming or I’ll skip it (Christopher Nolan movies for instance – overblown hooey).

Don’t agree. Need better movies and immunity but the movie experience is still of value IMHO. Im also biased having worked in the business and see theaters as jobs and necessarypart of the industry,not as vast empty buildings.

Louder for the folks in the back👏🏾

Movies are entertainment. You should be able to watch entertainment, that you are paying for, the way you want. If audiences want to watch their movies at home via streaming than the people making and releasing these movies should learn to adapt.

You said “audiences”, as in plural. There is an audience who wants to watch movies at a theater, and there is an audiences that wants to watch at home. Sometimes a person, like myself, may fall into both audiences. I chose where I view a movie based on my interest in that movie.

What I can say definitively is: I DON’T want my home theater system to be the only place I can watch a movie. At it’s a $15K home theater system.

Streaming residuals are a must. Iatse better stand firm on this. Negotiations are on going, prepare for a strike.

WHOO boy, does jungle cruise stink. Smells like the ride water on a bad day. Whatever happened to originality, especially from Disney? Maybe it’s time for new movie management. It’s not exactly like some 80 y/o white studio executive is in touch with today’s audiences.

And The Suicide Squad on HBOmax next week!!

How to watch everything on NBC, Peacock and more

New and returning series on broadcast, cable and streaming

Series that made it or didn’t make it in 2020-21

Get our latest storiesin the feed of your favorite networks

We want to hear from you! Send us a tip using our annonymous form.

Sign up for our breaking news alerts

Copyright © 2021 Penske Business Media, LLC. All Rights reserved.

These cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

'Jungle Cruise': What caused Emily Blunt to drop her pants during filming — and why The Rock calls her 'the female Indiana Jones'

Yahoo Entertainment 30 July, 2021 - 10:00am

That’s unlike the Quiet Place movies, in which Blunt now quite famously plays the post-apocalypse’s most protective mom against invading aliens.

Guess which one her kids get to see?

“They can see the Quiet Place films when they’re 35, at least,” cracked Blunt about her two young daughters with husband John Krasinski in a recent group chat with Yahoo Entertainment where she was joined by Johnson, Whitehall and Edgar Ramirez, who plays a deadly mercenary on their trail (watch above).

“They haven’t seen Jungle Cruise yet, but they saw the trailer, and they absolutely lost their minds for it. It is the one thing I’ve done that they are really interested in seeing.” (Our apologies to Mary Poppins Returns.)

Johnson’s children have a wide range in age — 19, 5 and 3 — but the prolific mega-star says he’s particularly excited about showing them Jungle Cruise.

“I think there’s a lot of elements of Jungle Cruise … it’s something for everyone. Adults, kids, smaller kids, big kids like me. … That’s one of the many magical components when you do a movie that’s based off of an iconic Disney ride that has been beloved for generations. There’s a little bit of that Disney magic that’s always infused in movies like this.”

In the film, the Houghtons and the Rock face constant threats through their expedition into the Great Outdoors, from various animals to waterfalls to undead conquistadors. But nothing Blunt faced in Jungle Cruise compared to her scariest run-in with nature in real life.

“I was in Tanzania and I was climbing Mount Meru and we’d been warned about fire ants,” the actress recalled. “They’re like these giant red ants, and when they bite you, it’s … fire. So I was walking and I looked down and I had clearly stepped in a nest, and I must’ve had a hundred just climbing up my boot around my ankle.

“I pulled my pants down in front of everyone, shook 'em out in front of all my friends at school, [they were full of ants]. That was the scariest. Everyone was screaming and trying to flick them off of me. They were climbing all up my leg and I did get some fiery little nips.”

Johnson had high praise for Blunt in a recent social media promo for the film, going as far as to call his co-star “the female Indiana Jones.” He elaborated on that point in our interview.

“I understand the set-up is a tough one, because that is a beloved character,” he says of the Harrison Ford screen idol. “But I believe it. [Raiders of the Lost Ark], Romancing the Stone, The African Queen, [Pirates of the Caribbean], those were some of our inspirations. … And what a privilege and a pleasure it was for us to be in a movie where the core point of view was from that of a woman, who is adventurous and groundbreaking for that time, wore pants proudly at a time when pants weren’t cool for women to wear.

“She has all these elements of a female Indiana Jones, and I mean that really respectfully and with great reverence to Harrison Ford and the character he created.”

Emily Blunt and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson had “instant” chemistry when they started working together on Disney’s new movie Jungle Cruise (premiering on July 30 in theatres and on Disney+).

Albert Dyrlund, a Danish YouTuber known for his music videos and comedy sketches, died Wednesday while filming a video in the Italian Alps. He was 22. Dyrlund’s mother, Vibe Jørger Jensen, confirmed her son’s passing to Danish news outlet TV2 on Friday. She said he was filming a video for his channel in Forcella Pana when he fell 656 feet from a mountain, according to Newsweek. A rescue helicopter was reportedly called to the mountain, but it was sadly too late and Dyrlund was pronounced dead at

Matt Damon appeared as a guest star on the "WTF with Marc Maron" podcast and acknowledged that "The Great Wall" was a terrible movie. Damon's thoughts: The award-winning actor told Maron that the film "doesn't cohere" and "doesn't work as a movie," according to The Hollywood Reporter. Damon also stated that director Zhang Yimou was pressured by Hollywood producers to change the film and sacrifice his original ideas.

Bet you didn't know condoms could be used for kayak repairs.

Tim Robbins and Lea Thompson look back at the 1986 disaster on the movie's 35th anniversary.

Frank Cornish III was last seen early Friday at his Carrollton, Texas home

Twitter Inc said on Friday it will launch a competition for computer researchers and hackers to identify biases in its image-cropping algorithm, after a group of researchers previously found the algorithm tended to exclude Black people and men. The competition is part of a wider effort across the tech industry to ensure artificial intelligence technologies act ethically. The social networking company said in a blog post that the bounty competition was aimed at identifying "potential harms of this algorithm beyond what we identified ourselves."

"Marvel superheroes are burdened by being heroes."

Actor says he got angry at politicians for stoking division after spending weeks with Trump-supporting oil-rig workers in Oklahoma.

Campbell referenced the usage of Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray in New Orleans as his goal in Detroit

Dolly Parton's love for Whitney Houston, paired with her notorious business savvy and a desire to help people, made this the perfect purchase.

See Taylor Swift's motivating message about the gymnasts who competed in the women's all-around competition at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

It will pay up to $3,500 to those who find issues with the image-cropping algorithm.

The United States' hopes of winning a first Olympic gold medal in women's volleyball took a hit on Saturday when they lost ace spiker Jordan Thompson to injury in a straight sets defeat by the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) team. Thompson sprained her ankle in the second set and did not return after she was helped off the court to receive medical attention. The American opposite hitter, competing in her first Games, has been their breakout star after top-scoring in their first three wins which included a colossal 34-points effort against defending champions China.

Photo Illustration by Kristen Hazzard/The Daily Beast/Photos GettyIn some respects, Brendan Hunt pulled off the most difficult job of all on Ted Lasso. He’s the guy who made you fall in love with the annoying lead character.Sure, the Apple TV+ comedy series—which just broke an Emmy nominations record for season 1 and premiered season 2 last week to rave reviews—is celebrated now. It’s a show about an underdog British football team, yes. But it was also so profound in depicting the power of a pos

The adventure comedy arrives in theaters and on Disney+ Premier Access on July 30.

“I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man.”

Hideki Matsuyama has excelled at the highest levels of golf, but he's feeling the pressure to win gold while representing Japan in the Tokyo Olympics.

Disney’s Jungle Cruise Is Murder

Vulture 30 July, 2021 - 09:56am

Herzog is an odd reference point, surely, but that’s also in keeping with the central tension in Jungle Cruise, between the darker, more intense and exciting movie it clearly wants to be and the mealymouthed CGI panderfest that it is. Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra — a filmmaker previously known for gonzo thrillers like Orphan and The Shallows and some of the more compelling entries in the Liam Neeson dadsploitation subgenre — the picture might have amounted to something had it been able to deliver on the one essential element any kind of adventure (even one made primarily for kids) needs: a real sense of danger.

It didn’t need to be this way, surely. The opening scenes show some promise. We first meet the spirited Dr. Lily Houghton (Emily Blunt) as she sneaks around in the back rooms of the Royal Geographic Society, looking for an ancient arrowhead that holds the key to finding a magic, all-healing Amazonian blossom called the Tears of the Moon. But it’s 1916, two years into the Great War, and there’s a sinister German aristocrat — the aforementioned Joachim, who may or may not be Kaiser Wilhelm’s son — also after this artefact.

In his previous works, Collet-Serra proved quite adept playing with screen geography, and he brings charm and energy to these early scenes of Lily maneuvering around this place while Joachim pursues her, each of them using the various objects around them. Similarly, when we meet Frank “Skipper” Wolff (Johnson), the captain of a decaying, rickety Amazon riverboat, we see him conning tourists into seeing fake sights such as a phony giant hippo, a rickety waterfall, and a group of supposedly savage natives whom he’s secretly paid off to scare the foreigners.

There’s a Rube Goldbergian verve to these early sequences, and by the time Lily and her brother MacGregor (Jack Whitehall) have employed Frank to take them into the heart of the Amazon, you might be fooled into thinking that Jungle Cruise is poised to recapture the swashbuckling magic of classics like Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Mask of Zorro, the 1999 iteration of The Mummy, or the original Pirates of the Caribbean, with a little African Queen thrown in. It certainly liberally borrows from just about all of them.

But such films were also not afraid to scare us, to make us care about their characters by putting them in real danger. And here, Jungle Cruise sadly falls back on its corporate theme-park origins. It’s a safety-first kind of movie, seemingly too afraid to ever make us fear for our heroes. A jaguar that attacks early on quickly turns out to be Frank’s pet, Proxima (another aide in his many scams). It would probably constitute a spoiler to give more details about other elements that are initially presented as sources of fear but turn out ultimately to be harmless. (Even the supposedly psychopathic Prince Joachim comes off as weirdly cuddly at times, with Plemons playing him as a subdued bore. Why exactly is this movie set during WWI anyway? Were they afraid to make Joachim a Nazi?) It feels at times like the filmmakers are reluctant to suggest that the Amazon might actually be a dangerous place. Maybe that sort of thing makes for admirable messaging (does it?), but it certainly doesn’t quicken the pulse.

The exception to all this winds up proving the rule: When the aforementioned Lope de Aguirre (Edgar Ramirez) and his men, who all supposedly vanished upriver in the 16th century, come back as a ragtag supernatural phantom army to fight our heroes, they’re clearly meant to provide the menace that the film has been so lacking. And to be fair, a flashback to how they got their curse is one of the film’s highlights; if nothing else, it gives Collet-Serra an opportunity to briefly show off his horror chops. But once these villains enter the story, their presence, even in its finer details and twists, so recalls the far-superior Pirates of the Caribbean that we might wonder if we’re just watching something created on the same software as that earlier picture, only with a different set of features selected from the drop-down menus.

Even so, derivativeness and predictability aren’t always fatal flaws. Jungle Cruise could have been saved had it at least provided some decent comedy and romance. On the latter front, Johnson and Blunt don’t have much chemistry. The film has a good idea in positioning them as opposing temperaments — the more bickering, the more chance of a spark, cinematically speaking — but even that winds up being half-baked. In the end, they don’t argue all that much.

Over and over, we can see the far superior movie Jungle Cruise wants to be: a freewheeling, romantic, swashbuckling epic about a couple of beautiful, brave souls who bicker their way into each other’s hearts, all the while facing off against the many dangers of the jungle and a variety of villains both human and supernatural. But it is so not that movie. And the clarity of its aspirations just makes the film’s downfall that much more pathetic, like a baseball player pointing to the home run he’s about to hit and then completely whiffing and landing on his ass.

Meanwhile, Whitehall is given the thankless task of portraying what is supposedly Disney’s most “out” gay character yet. The film still plays it kind of coy: Talking to Frank one night about how he couldn’t get married, MacGregor says that he “had to tell the lady in question that I couldn’t accept the offer — or indeed any offer, given that my interests happily lay elsewhere.” He then adds, “Uncle threatened to disinherit me. Friends and family turned their backs, all because of who I love.” Maybe this could have been a touching character note, but it doesn’t actually do much to develop MacGregor; his confession seems to exist primarily to show what a decent guy Frank is in accepting him. MacGregor, meanwhile, remains the butt of many of the movie’s (mostly unfunny) jokes — a hopelessly vain dandy who pees himself at the first sign of danger. I’m not sure any of this is progress. The jungle might not kill you, but Jungle Cruise could kill your soul.

Entertainment Stories