Movie Review: Jungle Cruise

Some years ago, some Disney executive probably said, “Why can’t we combine the African Queen with Raiders of the Lost Ark?” From this one idea the odds are pretty high that the new movie starring Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt, called “Jungle Cruise” was created. The problem is that this movie was probably made as a vehicle for two of the hottest actors right now, rather than writing a great story first and then getting the actors later. I could be wrong, but after seeing Jungle Cruise this sure seemed like the most likely scenario.

The start of this story seemed so familiar with the start of “Raiders Of the Lost Ark”, in this case there is a disease curing leaf of an impossible to find tree, somewhere in the jungle. Dr. Lily Houghton, played by Emily Blunt has to travel to the Amazon and rent a boat, captained by Frank Wolff, played by Dwayne Johnson. Once they meet, this entire movie is an excuse to create one action scene after another – and it all seems like we have seen this many times before. There is nothing new here, nothing memorable. This is not a bad movie, but definitely not a good enough movie to recommend, despite the special effects that at times were good.

I agree with the low 63% ratings on Rotten Tomatoes and rate this film a pass.

Movie Review: A Quiet Place Part II

In the history of movie science fiction, in my opinion the Matrix series had the best scientific concepts. Using human beings as batteries, an alternate world where people have to plug into a computer to see the world as it really is, excellent special effects of robots attacking humans and karate sequences. All of these ideas are great and spawned 3 movies, ending in 2003.

“A Quiet Place”, released in 2018 and now the sequel “A Quest Place Part 2”, released originally in 2020 and delayed until 2021 – has the second best movie science fiction concepts in movie history. Aliens from another planet have invaded Earth and they kill anything that makes a sound – a great an original idea that results in film that has very little dialogue and a high level of terror. With both movies, the special effects with these insane looking alien creatures is outstanding, as is the acting, most especially with the main character Evelyn Abbot, played by Emily Blunt. The good thing about this sequel is that the movie starts by showing the invasion of the aliens of the small town that occurred before the beginning of the first movie. However, the big flaw I found in this sequel is that in a situation where Evelyn Abbot has an infant child and two young children younger than 13, why are there so many scenes where all of them are separated? In real life, nothing like this would ever happen. Most especially in a scene where Evelyn leaves her injured 12 year old son and infant alone so she can collect more supplies. This makes absolutely no sense and lacks any level of common sense. Screenwriting is an extremely challenging art form because a story has to be plausible and entertaining at the same time.

This movie also stars Djimon Hounsou and Cillian Murphy in excellent supporting roles.

Despite the flaws, I mostly agree with the critics who give this sequel some very high ratings, mostly for the brilliant concept and the excellent special effects with the rampaging aliens who can kill humans so easily.