If this new trailer for the movie adaptation of the 66-year-old classic Disney park ride is truly representative of the film, it seems like stars Dwayne Johnson’s riverboat Captain Frank Wolff and Emily Blunt’s Dr. Lily Houghton will spend most of their time off the boat to look through ancient ruins, fight a wide variety of monsters, and, uh, get mauled by cheetahs. It’s like a hybrid of Indiana Jones, Pirates of the Caribbean, and the Rock. Now, these are all good things (well, the first Pirates movie, at least) that go together like chocolate, marshmallows, and graham crackers: They form a delicious but extremely messy treat, which is an accurate description for this trailer. All of these action setpieces we see snippets of look fun, but there are so many of them that it feels like the story might be a mere formality. While that’s certainly appropriate for a Disney ride that’s light on narrative and heavy on loveably terrible skipper jokes, it might be a detriment for The Jungle Cruise movie.
Also, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried about how the film was going to depict indigenous peoples, who are only seen in a brief shot, but certainly look like they might be portrayed in the awful Imperialist stereotype as “savages.” Now, you might think since it’s 2021, Disney would have figured out a long time ago that this sort of thing would be a problem, but the Disney parks only started removing these issues from the actual Jungle Cruise rides (and more) this year, and the movie started filming in May of 2018.
Still, fingers crossed that Disney’s movie division is smarter than its parks division. The Jungle Cruise, which also stars Édgar Ramirez and Paul Giamatti, will premiere in movie theatres and on Disney+ on July 30, via Premiere Access (meaning you’ll have to pay extra for it).
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