It’s 1916, two years into the First World War, when we first meet the lively Dr. Lily Houghton (Emily Blunt) as she locates an ancient arrowhead engraved with a mysterious map. We learn that this arrowhead is actually the key to finding the 'Tears of the Moon'—a mystical flower with all-powerful healing abilities hidden somewhere deep in the Amazon rainforest.
Along with her dapper brother MacGregor, she journeys to the Amazon to begin their search for the flower. Here she enlists the help of Captain Frank “Skipper” Wolff (Dwayne Johnson) to be their guide through the perilous jungle and its winding rivers.
As they embark onboard Frank’s rickety old riverboat, the trio are quickly swept into a wild, fast-paced odyssey. On top of the many dangers of the jungle itself, our heroes find themselves facing all sorts of evil villains—both human and supernatural—as they get closer and closer to unlocking the mysteries of the Tears of the Moon.
Action, adventure, and magic ensue! Oh, and many bad puns from Frank. So many bad puns.
Unlike a few of Disney's recent films, Jungle Cruise isn’t based on an older movie, fairy tale, or even a book—it’s actually based on a theme park ride! The real-life attraction is a simulated riverboat cruise located at various Disney Parks worldwide. This isn’t the first time Disney has done this though—The Pirates of the Caribbean was another hit movie (and eventually a series) that was a ride-to-film adaptation.
While the ride certainly acted as an inspiration for the visuals and general look of the movie, Jungle Cruise also took some cues from other classic adventure flicks, like The Mummy or even Indiana Jones.
Humour and heart
The story manages to perfectly balance thrills, chills, laughs, and even some heavier emotional scenes. The funniest dialogue comes from the witty banter between Dr. Lily and Frank, or any scene where the city-spoiled MacGregor tries to rough it in the jungle. There is even one special moment where MacGregor opens up about his past that will definitely pull on your heartstrings. Not to mention the mystery has many interesting twists and turns to keep you on our toes!
Watch the trailer for this swashbuckling river adventure below.
Jungle Cruise is streaming now on Disney+