Review: Chemistry Of Emily Blunt, Dwayne Johnson Keeps Disney’s ‘Jungle Cruise’ Movie From Sinking

Jul 30, 2021, 9:53 AM | Updated: 3:54 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — The Jungle Cruise ride at Disneyland has been a fan favorite since it first opened in 1955. It was so popular there that it’s at all the other Disney parks in the world except Disneyland Paris.

Disney’s JUNGLE CRUISE in theaters and on Disney+ Premier starting July 30, 2021. (Disney)

The new “Jungle Cruise” movie from Walt Disney Pictures was (obviously) inspired by the ride.  But how do you turn a five-to-10 minute theme park ride into a full-length feature film?  Well, similar to “Pirates of the Caribbean,” you throw in a whole bunch of extra stuff and hope it works.

“Jungle Cruise” is set in 1916. Determined researcher Lily Houghton (Emily Blunt) believes the legends of a mystical plant located somewhere in the Amazon jungles. So she heads to Brazil with her brother MacGregor (Jack Whitehall) and enlists the help of wisecracking riverboat skipper Frank Wolff (Dwayne Johnson).

The Houghtons need Wolff and his rickety old boat to guide them through all the dangers the river has in store for them, which includes a German prince in a U-boat (Jesse Plemons) and some undead conquistadores who are all searching for the same plant.

For me, the strongest part of this film was its two leads. I thought Blunt & Johnson had palpable chemistry (that jokingly made me a little worried for Blunt’s real-life husband John Krasinski).

Johnson gets to drop most of the bad puns that the Jungle Cruise amusement park ride is famous for. There are also some unexpected twists.

Blunt looks a natural as a female Indiana Jones-type character. Some of the action and chases are ridiculous but mostly fun ridiculous.

But I had a lot of problems with the movie as well. Though at times it seemed like “Jungle Cruise” was aimed at young kids, there was imagery and violence that was way too grown up for them. There were also too many villains.

I’ve never ridden Jungle Cruise at Disneyland, so I didn’t catch any of the Easter eggs from the ride that director Jaume Collett-Serra put in the movie. But my friends who are big fans of Disney parks noticed and loved it.

Ultimately, what you think of the movie may depend on what you think of the ride at the Disney parks.

If you want to see “Jungle Cruise,” it’s playing both in theaters and streaming on Disney+ Premier. If you want to wait it out for the movie to come to the free part of Disney+, that won’t happen until Nov. 12.

Interested in seeing this movie?  Watch the video at the top of the page for my full, in-depth review, age recommendations & final rating.

(L-R) Jack Whitehall as MacGregor, Emily Blunt as Lily and Dwayne Johnson as Frank in Disney's JUNGLE CRUISE.
Photo by Frank Masi (c) 2021 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Scene from Disney's JUNGLE CRUISE.  Emily Blunt as Lily Houghton in Disney's JUNGLE CRUISE Dwayne Johnson and director Jaume Collet-Serra on the set of Disney's JUNGLE CRUISE.  Dwayne Johnson is Frank Wolff in Disney's JUNGLE CRUISE. Disney's JUNGLE CRUISE in theaters and on Disney Plus Premier starting July 30, 2021


Hopefully you & your family found this review helpful! Andy Farnsworth is the movie and pop culture guy for the KSL 5 Today morning news show and also hosts the Fan Effect podcast for KSL NewsRadio. Check out some of his other in-depth reviews of movies and streaming TV series on

KSL 5 TV Live

Movie Reviews

This image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Ryan Gosling, left, and Margot Robbie in a scene...

Associated Press

The ‘Barbie’ bonanza continues at the box office, ‘Oppenheimer’ holds the No. 2 spot

“Barbie” leads the box office over “Oppenheimer" by over 40 million dollars.

4 months ago

Roger Gonzalez and Gaby Camacho, interview Sophia Lillis (C), at the Mexico City premiere of Paramo...

Jake Coyle

‘Dungeons & Dragons’ opens with $38.5M, takes down John Wick

Riding terrific reviews and a strong word-of-mouth, the role playing game adaptation "Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves" opened with $38.5 million in U.S. and Canadian movie theaters over the weekend.

8 months ago

This image released by Universal Pictures shows a scene from "Cocaine Bear," directed by Elizabeth ...

Associated Press

‘Cocaine Bear’ gets high with $23.1M, ‘Ant-Man’ sinks fast

The gonzo R-rated horror comedy “Cocaine Bear" sniffed up $23.1 million in its opening weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday, while Marvel's “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” was quickly dwarfed in its second weekend.

10 months ago

United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh poses for an official portrait at the...

Lindsey Bahr

Sundance doc looks into Brett Kavanaugh investigation

A new documentary looks into the sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

11 months ago

Javon "Wanna" Walton (left) as Sam Cleary and Sylvester Stallone (right) as Joe Smith in SAMARITAN,...


REVIEW: Stallone’s ‘Samaritan’ stops short of superhero movie success

Sylvester Stallone's latest movie SAMARITAN sees him as a garbage man that a teenage neighbor believes to be a superhero in hiding. KSL's Andy Farnsworth says there are some cool moments that action and superhero movie fans will enjoy, but overall thinks it's good that the movie is only streaming on Prime Video and not in theaters.

1 year ago

(L to R) Thira ‘Aum’ Chutikul as Commander Kiet, Popetorn ‘Two’ Soonthornyanaku as Dr Karn,...


REVIEW: ‘Thirteen Lives’ movie dramatically tells real rescue story of Thai soccer team from flooded cave

In THIRTEEN LIVES, a true story-based movie on Amazon Prime about the rescue of a teenage soccer team from a flooded cave in Thailand, director Ron Howard manages to pull off the feat of balancing truth with drama without turning it into a documentary. KSL's Andy Farnsworth says it was an emotionally-engaging movie that showcases the triumph of human effort and spirit when we work together to solve a problem.

1 year ago

Sponsored Articles

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Design mockup half in white and half in color of luxury house interior with open plan living room a...

Lighting Design

Lighting Design 101: Learn the Basics

These lighting design basics will help you when designing your home, so you can meet both practical and aesthetic needs.

an antler with large horns int he wilderness...

Three Bear Lodge

Yellowstone in the Fall: A Wildlife Spectacle Worth Witnessing

While most people travel to this park in the summer, late fall in Yellowstone provides a wealth of highlights to make a memorable experience.

a diverse group of students raising their hands in a classroom...

Little Orchard Preschool

6 Benefits of Preschool for Kids

Some of the benefits of preschool for kids include developing independence, curiosity, and learning more about the world.

Review: Chemistry Of Emily Blunt, Dwayne Johnson Keeps Disney’s ‘Jungle Cruise’ Movie From Sinking