No Jungle Cruise is not a mindblowing masterpiece by any means, but there is so much infectious joy all throughout, it made the movie utterly great. And perhaps that is because I went into it without expecting anything other than complete nonsense, and yet knowing I would appreciate Emily Blunt‘s character Lily Houghton just because it is portrayed by her.
While comparisons all over the internet were drawn to films like The Mummy and Pirates of the Caribbean, I wouldn’t necessarily agree with those either. Jungle Cruise is its own breed of chaos, and it is purely joyous because there is nothing more obvious than the detail that the cast had a blast while filming. It is translated onto screen brilliantly.
The characters are each fleshed out just enough to fit a two-hour film. Their dynamics are all riveting. And the costumes are indeed everything. (Seriously, I want Lily’s entire wardrobe.)
Jungle Cruise succeeds because it allows itself to be ridiculous. It doesn’t take itself seriously even while it does, which might just be the most surprising part of it. I didn’t expect Emily Blunt’s Lily to be as carefree as she was. I imagined her to be more serious, a little more done with Frank’s (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) shenanigans (and she was), but the balance was actually perfect. She cared deeply about her mission, but she is also very clearly a woman who knows how to have fun, a woman who’s warm and gentle, and a woman who isn’t afraid of speaking her mind.
But perhaps most surprising is the detail that she was willing to sacrifice for love, and unless you’re new here, then you know we’re all advocates for romance. A strong woman who allows herself to fall in love always becomes even stronger in our book and Lily Houghton as a character is deeply loving. I’ll echo what most people have already said but the chemistry between Lily and Frank was exhilarating.
Jack Whitehall’s McGregor was a damn delight all throughout and at one point, I personally desperately wanted to see him and David Rose bond over the absolute lack of clean towels. How great would that crossover have been?
I also want a Jurassic Park crossover solely to see my queens Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) and Dr. Lily Houghton in the same room.
Jungle Cruise is great because joy is infectious and with this film, every bit of it is joyous even when it isn’t. The punny jokes that shouldn’t work always do. The absolute nonsense that erupts in every corner is just what I expected. You can’t walk into a film like this not expecting utter chaos. That is where the joy comes from. And with talks of a sequel? Sign me up.
I’ll always take a ridiculously adventurous film where I have to suspend disbelief that also comes with an incredible cast and a stunning score. We could all use a bit more joy in our lives these days and Jungle Cruise is the film to evoke it.
The film is so fun, it’s almost addictive. I already want to rewatch it over and over again.
Have you watched Jungle Cruise yet? What are your thoughts on the film?
Gissane (pronounced Geese-enny) or, as people often call her, "Goose," is a Christ fan above all and a romance enthusiast who's taken her Master's degree in English and love for essays into writing lengthy analyses about pop culture.
She is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Marvelous Geeks Media and the co-host of Lady Geeks' Society Podcast. She drinks too much coffee, wants to live in a forest, and cries a lot because of her favorite characters. She's a member of The Cherry Picks and can also be found writing features for Looper.