In 1916, in a world still corseted by sexism, doctor Lily Houghton (Emily Blunt) cannot convince the English academy of the Royal Society to provide her with a relic. The latter could allow him to find a legendary tree, whose healing properties of the flowers would revolutionize medicine. Never mind, after having stolen the said object, she goes with her brother to the Amazon. There, they meet the dresser, storyteller and enigmatic Frank (Dwayne Johnson), captain of an old tub on which they embark. Between demons, rapids, dangerous animals and a German prince (Jesse Plemons) on their heels, this journey will prove to be very eventful…
Action, movement and comedy
After bringing the Pirates of the Caribbean to life, and launching a successful film franchise along the way, Disney has therefore decided to adapt another flagship attraction of its parks on the big screen: Jungle Cruise. And from the first sequence, the tone is set: action, movement and comedy. This leitmotif will never be forgotten throughout a film truly conceived as a merry-go-round, where scenes of shivers and intervals of calm follow one another uninterruptedly before a whirlwind grand finale, all of it mixed with good-natured humor, sparkling of Emily Blunt and coolness of Dwayne Johnson.
The actors, precisely, bring this extra soul, flesh and joy to this mechanism. The chemistry between the English actress and the American colossus, both impeccable in very different registers and flirting with the border of overplay without ever crossing it, is undeniable and gives relief to their characters. As for Jesse Plemons, he is absolutely jubilant and steals almost all of his scenes.
very influenced by AfricanQueen, a classic, intelligent and welcome reference, the film would have benefited from a more inventive, crazy or ambitious staging, which director Gore Verbinski had achieved in the first three Pirates of the Caribbean. But this lack is ultimately incidental and forgettable because Jungle Cruise is simply pure entertainment, which assumes its dimension of cinematic attraction without any other pretension or cynicism. As such, it is successful and provides pleasure as fleeting as it is real. So, do not sulk these two hours which seem much less and embark on this cruise through the jungle!