tisdag 5 oktober 2021

Jungle Cruise

I used to be a big fan of wrestling back in the 80´s. Seeing legendary wrestlers such as Hulk Hogan, The Ultimate Warrior, The Bushwackers, The Million Dollar Man, André The Giant, Bret Hart, "Macho Man" Randy Savage and many more, was so much fun back in those days. Every Saturday, i would turn on Super Channel, just to see what the latest WWE matches would be. Remember, back in those days there were no internet, and you did not find out everything right away, so you would have to turn in to the TV show, to see if there were any surprises. Wrestlers have proved that they can have a career, outside of their wrestling careers. Just look at legendary wrestler Hulk Hogan, who made several films, and TV shows such as Thunder In Paradise. But in the early 2000´s, we were about to get a brand new action star in Hollywood, that would become the biggest wrestling action star of Hollywood films, and i am of course talking about Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. He became a huge wrestling star in the 90´s, and his career would soon give him a role as Scorpion King in the 2001 action adventure The Mummy Returns. The Rock would just one year later get his first lead role in the prequel The Scorpion King. Dwayne still continued with his wrestling career, and kept on working with different film projects. In the year of 2005, he actually surprised me by taking on the role as the character Sergeant Asher in the film adaptation of the video game Doom. This film takes place on the planet of Mars, in the year of 2026. A wormhole portal known as The Ark, is discovered deep below the Nevada desert. 25 years later, the 85 personell at the Union Aerospace Corporation ( UAC ) research facility on Mars are attacked by an unknown assailant. Following a distress call sent by Dr. Carmack ( Robert Russell ) a squad of eight marines led by Sergeant Asher "Sarge" Mahonin, are sent to the research facility. Doom may have been a big box office flop at that time, but i actually enjoy this film. I can not tell you how many times i have watched this film on Blu Ray, it´s just a fun B action horror movie, and i suggest you look at the film on Netflix. Speaking of Dwayne, i have enjoyed several of his films in recent years, and i was looking forward to see his latest film Jungle Cruise. Is this film another enjoyable adventure with Dwayne, or is Jungle Cruise just as bad as Vince Neil´s latest solo shows across America?

In 1556, Don Aguirre ( Edgar Ramirez ) leads Spanish conquistadors to South America to search for Lagrimas de Cristal Tree, whose flowers cures illness, heal injuries, and lift curses. The Puka Michana tribe´s chief curse the conquistadors, making them immortal and unable to leave sight of the Amazon river. In 1916, Dr. Lily Houghton´s ( Emily Blunt ) Tears Of The Moon research is presented by her brother McGregor Houghton ( Jack Whitehall ), to the Royal Society. claiming that the Tree´s flowers could revolutionize medizine and aid the British war effort. The Houghtons request access to a recently acquired arrowhead artifact, but the society denies the request. So Lily take matters into her own hands and steal the arrowhead, while being followed by German Prince Joachim ( Jesse Plemons ). She and her brother manage to escape from London and travel to Brazil, where she needs help to find the Tree, as she meet skipper Frank Wolff ( Dwayne Johnson ). He is in desperate need of money, and when he finds out she needs a boat, he agree to take her and her brother into his ship. He knows that trying to find this Tree is dangerous, but he have no other way out of this right now. German Prince Joachim and his team are hunting for the artifact, and will do anything to stop them.

I don´t think there is any surprise that Jungle Cruise is inspired by the Indiana Jones films, and even have some charming elements from the 1998 action adventure The Mummy. Not that there are a lot of similarities between these films, but the atmposphere is there, with the right dose of comedy, and adventure vibe as well. This is one of those films you don´t see very often these days, that tries to go back to the old school cinema films, with a much bigger budget of course. And that´s ok, since this is supposed to be a film that includes a lot of CGI effects. To enjoy a film such as Jungle Cruise, you definetely have to be a Indiana Jones fan. There are several scenes that reminds us of the Indiana Jones films, especially a waterfall scene. I have absolutely no problem with this, since this just shows that they respect the classic franchise, and just borrow some ideas. The main characters Frank Wolf and Dr. Lily Houghton have great chemistry on screen. Both actors Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt, clearly had fun making this film. And when you are making an action adventure such as this film, great chemistry between the main characters is very important. I do enjoy the performance of actor Jesse Plemons, who plays the German royal Prince Joachim, he deliver some fun moments. So how does Jungle Cruise work as an adventure film? I would say that this film does a pretty good job, when it comes to telling a story in a very old school traditional way. Anything negative to say? Perhaps it would be that some of the CGI effects on the Spanish conquistadors could have been done better. The CGI effects on these men are definetely better than in The Mummy Returns ( remember the CGI version of Dwayne Johnson in that film ? ), but that was 20 years ago. I get the feeling that they thought that the dead Spanish conquistadors would look cool in Jugle Cruise, but only 2 of them actually looks ( ok ). Director Jaume Collet-Serra ( who directed the very good psychological horror film Orphan ) gives us an adventure that is both entertaining, and hopefully inspire film makers to make more films like this one, bringing back the old school adventures to the big screen. If you are not a fan of Dwayne Johnson, that´s ok, but give this film a chance. I have a feeling you might enjoy this film either way, as long as you are open minded. Jugle Cruise is definetely a film for the whole family to enjoy.

Rating: DDD

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