Clearly, someone at Disney piped up in a meeting with “What if The African Queen except with more punching and digital creatures?” And lo, did it come to pass:
On the one hand, ew. On the other hand, it’s not even worth getting upset over a mega-corporation strip-mining its own IP anymore. You may as well get mad at the weather, for all the good it’ll do. Besides, we can’t really claim any sort of superiority here. We routinely gush over superhero movies and just gave Disney’s current strip-mining project Cruella a pretty decent review. We can’t really blame Disney for wanting to launch another franchise based off an amusement park ride, since those pirate movies earned them a billion dollars.
They sure spent those Disney dollars to make it look good:
In fact, all we see is money, looking at these pictures; money spent and money likely to be earned in buckets. Emily Blunt and Dwayne Johnson are surefire bets. They both ooze charm and are great with action sequences. Casting Jack Whitehall as Emily Blunt’s brother is pretty inspired. They could pass for twins. The rumor had it that his character was to be the first gay character in a mainstream Disney production, although Cruella beat them to the post on that one. We hope he’s not just a prissy gay who gets in the way of the fun.
We’re just feeling a shrug coming on. Aside from the potential for offensive cultural and racial stereotypes (which remains high, even as we find it hard to believe that Disney would open itself up to such charges by being careless here in 2021) and maybe an annoying portrayal of a gay character, we can’t get too worked up about this film existing even if it’s not likely to be something we’d pay money to see. If nothing else, all those ardent Disney park fans who couldn’t make it to the Holy Land during lockdown might enjoy something like this to help get them back into the swing of things.
Inspired by the famous Disneyland theme park ride, Disney’s “Jungle Cruise” is an adventure-filled, rollicking thrill-ride down the Amazon with wisecracking skipper Frank Wolff and intrepid researcher Dr. Lily Houghton. Lily travels from London, England to the Amazon jungle and enlists Frank’s questionable services to guide her downriver on La Quila—his ramshackle-but-charming boat. Lily is determined to uncover an ancient tree with unparalleled healing abilities—possessing the power to change the future of medicine. Thrust on this epic quest together, the unlikely duo encounters innumerable dangers and supernatural forces, all lurking in the deceptive beauty of the lush rainforest. But as the secrets of the lost tree unfold, the stakes reach even higher for Lily and Frank and their fate—and mankind’s—hangs in the balance.
Jaume Collet-Serra directs the film, which stars Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt, Edgar Ramírez and Jack Whitehall, with Jesse Plemons, and Paul Giamatti. The producers are John Davis and John Fox of Davis Entertainment; Dwayne Johnson, Hiram Garcia and Dany Garcia of Seven Bucks Productions; and Beau Flynn of Flynn Picture Co., with Scott Sheldon and Doug Merrifield serving as executive producers. The story is by John Norville & Josh Goldstein and Glenn Ficarra & John Requa, and the screenplay is by Michael Green and Glenn Ficarra & John Requa. Disney’s “Jungle Cruise” releases in U.S. theaters and on Disney+ with Premier Access on July 30, 2021.
[Photo Credit: Walt Disney Studios – Video Credit: Walt Disney Studios via YouTube]