Disney’s Jungle Cruise, Which will be released in India on Friday, is an attempt by the studio to recreate the immense success of Pirates of the Caribbean. However, although at least two spin-off films are in development, they do not continue the Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow story, the franchise’s major draw.
With attractive stars like Jungle Cruise, Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt, for all intents and purposes, the Pirates heir to the House of Mouse. Also starring Jack Whitehall, Edgar Ramerez, Jesse Plemons and Paul Giamatti, the Jungle Cruise Pirates is similar in more ways than one.
For example, Jungle Cruise is one of Disney’s theme park attractions such as Pirates. The joke is that every movie that Disney makes is an excuse to build more attractions. Martin Scorsese also criticizes Marvel movies, comparing them to theme park rides.
There are similarities in plot, theme and storytelling between Jungle Cruise and the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Like The Curse of the Black Pearl, Jungle Cruise has at least a universal appeal on paper, creating diverse genres such as adventure, romance and fantasy to create a family-friendly product.
On the Jungle Cruise, Blunt’s doctor Lilu Houghton travels to the Brazilian forests to discover the Tree of Life, which is said to have magical healing abilities. She teamed up with Johnson Boat Captain Frank Wolf.
Like The Black Pearl, Jungle Cruise is based on a curse that immortalizes a group, the winners in one case and the ship’s crew in another. But being immortal made them a little more than zombies – like Black Pearl again.
Both films use cutting-edge visuals and sound effects to thrill and entertain family audiences. Humor is like that too. Like Jack Sparrow, Frank is a genius. Although not a rum-soaked, monotonous pirate, he has his own personal motives that he likes to keep secret from others.
In fact, Jungle Cruise is a lot of fun throughout.
But unlike The Pearl of the Black Pearl, it is not such a strong film. Although the sequel has been announced, the next film will be different to continue the franchise.
This critique is about how Jungle Cruise picks up material directly from pirates. That is very forgivable. Here, the cast is not as deep, and the underlying mystery may have developed further, gradually, eventually revealing more satisfactorily and less predictably. The villain is also nowhere near as fun as Jeffrey Rush captain Hector Barbosa.
Also, the character of Frank, though brought up by Johnson, is not as impressive as Jack. He’s fine, but very similar to most of the protagonists. In general, he did not bring anything completely new to the table he had depped, which kept the audience committed to the franchise even when it lost its quality after the second film.