After Disney struck pirate gold with its Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise, they were looking to catch lightning in a bottle again with another movie series based off their popular rides. Next in line is Jungle Cruise, which might not be as exciting and intense as the pirate films, but it has a boatload of laughs and adventure that families will enjoy.
Our own Ethan Brehm had a chance to view this during its theatrical run, and you can check out his review for all the plot details as I write about my take on the film and the home video release. While Ethan didn’t care for the film, I had a fairly good time with it, though I can definitely understand why he didn’t enjoy as much. It suffers from what a lot of family films have nowadays, such as corny/goofball humor, an overreliance on special effects (especially CG ones), spotty pacing and other flaws.
But I’ll be honest and admit that I’m easily entertained, especially when there’s fun chemistry between the actors and their characters, and that’s what pulled me into this adventure. Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt play off each really well here, and even Jack Whitehall manages to steal a scene or two with his wacky, comedic charm. As with a lot of these family fun films, this is a “leave your brain at the door” experience where you’re here to have fun and munch on some snacks, and it pulls it off quite well.
There’s a 4K release of this, but I was sent the Blu-ray which looks and sounds great thanks to a great high-definition transfer and Dolby HD audio keeping you in the middle of all the adventure. There’s also a few special features to wade through once the boat pulls into port, such as a fun featurette that goes into film’s production, another that talks about the famous Disney ride the movie is based on and its history, some about director Jaume Collet-Serra (who is also directing Johnson in the upcoming DC film, Black Adam), and more.
There’s also a fun and funny extra showcasing Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt sharing tons of laughs with outtakes, and there’s also some extra outtakes, deleted scenes that don’t add anything to the film but are still cool to watch, another extra detailing the special effects by both WETA and Industrial Light and Magic, and more.
If you’re looking for a good film for family night, you can’t go wrong with Jungle Cruise. It has great actors with great chemistry that clearly shows throughout the film, and is also packed with plenty of action and laughs to keep this boat trip on course for fun.