‘Jungle Cruise’ Review: Amazon Subprime

The plot of Disney’s “Jungle Cruise,” like Vogon poetry, is mostly incoherent and aims to subdue you. A theme park ride based on the fizzy joy of bygone romantic adventures like “Raiders of the Lost Ark” is given a manic makeover by director Jaume Collet-Serra (1981). In the end, it doesn’t matter if its female protagonist is a hero; what matters is that the entire enterprise shines.

Actress Emily Blunt plays British botanist Lily who is fed up with being insulted by London’s scientific establishment.

Lily’s goal is to travel to the Amazon jungle to get a flower that is said to cure all diseases, despite the Great War being in full force. Riverboat captain Frank (Dwayne Johnson) is hired and soon Lily (Jack Whitehall), her snobbish brother (Jake Whitehall), and a number of digital perils are on their way upriver.

A fake exoticism is on display in “Jungle Cruise,” with its swarms of venomous snakes, cannibalistic canines, and maggoty supernatural entities rattling the frame.

Everything moves at a breakneck pace, the language is rote (“The locals speak about this area with dread”), and the background noise competes for our attention like a desperate dancer. While Jesse Plemons plays a villainous German prince, Edgar Ramirez plays a decaying Spanish conquistador named Aguirre. Obviously, Werner Herzog is overjoyed.

“Jungle Cruise” is less directed than thrashed to a stiff peak before collapsing into a mushy heap by a relentless score and a small town’s worth of digital artists.

Frank informs his passengers that “everything you see is out to get you.” In reality, I believe it’s only after your money.

It’s a Jungle Ride!

Chaste kissing and bloodless fighting are included in the PG-13 rating. 2 hours and 7 minutes of running time. In the theatres and on Disney+, respectively.