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Jaume Collet-Serra
Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt, Edgar Ramirez
Writing Credits:
Michael Green, Glenn Ficarra, John Requa

Natasha Romanoff confronts the darker parts of her ledger when a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past arises.

Box Office:
$200 million.
Opening Weekend:
$35,018,731 on 4310 Screens.
Domestic Gross:

Rated PG-13.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS-HD MA 7.1
English Descriptive Audio 2.0
Spanish Dolby 5.1
French Dolby 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 127 min.
Price: $34.99
Release Date: 11/16/2021

• “Expedition Mode” Trivia Track
• “It’s a Jungle Out There” Featurette
• “Undoubtedly Funny” Featurette
• “Creating the Amazon” Featurette
• “Once a Skip, Always a Skip” Featurette
• Deleted Scenes
• Outtakes


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Jungle Cruise [Blu-Ray] (2021)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (December 20, 2021)

Almost 20 years ago, Disney produced a movie based on a theme park attraction and inspired plenty of mockery before it hit screens. When 2003’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl became a major success, however, the laughter ceased.

Though Pirates launched a successful series of sequels, Disney couldn’t replicate the same achievement when they put out The Haunted Mansion later in 2003. With a worldwide gross of $182 million, it made barely one-fourth as much as Pirates and obviously didn’t spawn any additional chapters.

Nor did Disney pursue more movies based on their theme park attractions – not until 2021. (2015’s Tomorrowland uses a section of the parks as inspiration but not a specific attraction.) Jungle Cruise finally finds another Disney ride brought to the big screen.

Set in 1916, botanist Dr. Lily Houghton (Emily Blunt) pursues a trip to the Amazon. She believes in “Tears of the Moon”, a tree whose petals allegedly can heal any illness, so along with brother MacGregor (Jack Whitehall), she embarks on this journey.

When Lily gets there, she hires tour guide Frank Wolff (Dwayne Johnson) to take her where she needs to go. The pair bicker and attempt to survive a mix of challenges along the way.

Though my introduction to this review implied Disney avoided movies based on theme park attractions for years, in truth they put Cruise into development way back in 2004. The project sat dormant for years – possibly due to the lackluster reaction given to Haunted Mansion - and then took a lot more time even after the studio decided to push it again.

The fact Disney worked over this project so much over such a long period shows, as Cruise rarely exhibits real creativity. It's not a bad movie but it seems assembled by committee, as if those involved calculated the movie to become some kind of Generic Action Adventure.

There's little to no real inspiration to be found here. It's a mix of influences that seems like it should become fun and exciting but never quite gets there, mainly because it seems so obviously borrowed from other sources.

Film buffs won’t need much effort to see the obvious links to prior movies. We get ample parts of 1999’s Mummy, The African Queen, Indiana Jones and the Pirates of the Caribbean flicks throughout Cruise.

If Cruise managed its own sense of personality despite those connections, it would work better. However, it often feels like a random collection of these influences and not something that stands as its own entity.

Cruise suffers from a messy story – way too messy, as it really should've been simple. A straightforward tale about the quest and threats seen in the jungle would've made more sense than the tacked-on villains we find, and it also would feel more true to the ride that inspired the film.

Oh, those tacked-on villains – I didn’t mention them in my synopsis because they largely seem irrelevant. Throughout the film, German Prince Joachim (Jesse Plemons) – the son of Kaiser Wilhelm – pursues the Tears of the Moon and our heroes.

In addition, another threat materializes midway through the film, one that seems to come out of nowhere. I won’t detail this part of the movie because it may veer into spoiler territory, but these elements add a second group of villains to potentially bring harm to the leads.

Cruise treats both sets of antagonists as superfluous. It forgets about one or the other for long periods, and it comes with other useless plot twists as well.

Again, I think the basic “trip down the Amazon” motif seems like enough. I get the impression those involved lacked confidence in such a simple theme and figured they needed bunches of villains to keep our interest.

And maybe they did, for other aspects of Cruise don’t really zing. Johnson seems wrong for the role, as he lacks the sarcastic bite that would make the character work better. Someone like a younger George Clooney would've been more appropriate.

Johnson and Blunt also exhibit little chemistry. Both are talented performers but they just don’t click here.

I don’t want to seem relentlessly negative about Jungle Cruise, as at its worst, it presents a watchable adventure. However, it never becomes more than that, and given all the potential for thrills and excitement, “watchable” doesn’t seem good enough.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B+/ Bonus C+

Jungle Cruise appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie delivered a more than satisfactory image.

At all times, sharpness satisfied. The movie consistently appeared crisp and concise, with only minor instances of softness on display.

Moiré effects and jagged edges failed to distract, and the presentation also lacked any edge haloes. Source flaws created no distractions, so this remained a clean image.

To emphasize a period feel as well as the jungle setting, amber and green dominated the palette of Cruise. Within those restrictions, the hues looked fine.

Blacks were deep and dark, and low-light scenes came across as clear and well-developed. No problems emerged in this solid presentation.

In addition, the DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack of Cruise worked well, as it added a fair amount to the experience. Movement and integration were always good, and localization seemed positive.

Environmental material felt engaging, and the many action/supernatural moments added impact. Overall involvement was good, however, and the track blended together well.

Audio quality was always positive. Speech seemed natural and distinctive, without edginess or other issues.

Music appeared lively and full, and effects demonstrated good power. Those elements came across as taut and powerful, with nice low-end to add punch. The soundtrack deserved a solid “B+”.

When we shift to extras, we find Expedition Mode, a feature that runs along with the movie. It offers a text commentary that tells us about the Disney theme attraction, production elements, and factoids connected to the movie and situations. While not great, it adds some informational value.

A few featurettes follow, and It’s a Jungle Out There goes for 12 minutes, 58 seconds. It presents notes from producers Beau Flynn and Hiram Garcia, director Jaume Collet-Serra, executive producer Scott Sheldon, dialect coach Carlos Garcia, cultural anthropologist Dr. William Balee, costume designer Paco Delgado, makeup designer Joel Harlow, hair department head Adruitha Lee, and actors Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt, Jack Whitehall, Jesse Plemons, Paul Giamatti, and Veronica Falcon.

“There” looks at the theme park attraction and its adaptation, cast and performances, cultural choices, costumes/makeup/hair/period details, and Collet-Serra’s impact on the film. Though the tone feels fluffy, we get a decent array on notes here.

Undoubtedly Funny spans five minutes, 10 seconds and offers notes from Johnson, Blunt, Collet-Serra, Whitehall, and Falcon.

Here we learn how delightful the lead actors are. Yawn.

Next comes Creating the Amazon, a 15-minute, 14-second reel with Johnson, Blunt, Collet-Serra, Flynn, Giamatti, Garcia, Whitehall, Sheldon, production designer Jean-Vincent Puzos, marine coordinator Bruce Ross, special effects supervisor JD Schwalm, visual effects supervisor Jim Berney, visual effects producer Marla Neto Henshaw, and actors Ben Jenkin, Edgar Ramirez, Quim Gutierrez and Dani Rovira.

“Creating” looks at various sets as well as some visual effects. It becomes a competent overview.

Once a Skip, Always a Skip runs 14 minutes and features Disney Jumgle Cruise skippers Alex Williams, Kelly Small, Flor Torres and Erin Drew.

They discuss how they got their jobs and aspects of their experiences. Don’t expect any dirt, but we get some fun observations about the Cruise gig.

11 Deleted Scenes occupy a total of 15 minutes, 56 seconds. These deliver a mix of fairly minor character expansions. Though they offer some interesting elements, none of them feel important/essential.

Finally, an Outtakes reel lasts two minutes, 25 seconds. Expect the usual goofs/giggles.

Years in development, Jungle Cruise finally hit screens in 2021, where it landed with a thud. While not a bad movie, Cruise never becomes better than mediocre, as it lacks creativity and inspiration. The Blu-ray offers very good picture and audio along with a decent complement of bonus materials. This turns into a watchable but uninspired adventure.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2.25 Stars Number of Votes: 4
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