Up the creek without a paddle

Jungle Cruise (PG, 123 minutes)

Based on a ride at Disneyland theme park, this attempt at Pirates Of The Carib… (or Conquistadors of the Amazon to be more accurate) is more like Raiders Of The Damp Squib as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Emily Blunt, Jack Whitehall and a pet CGI jaguar go searching for a legendary tree which holds the secret to curing all ills.

As boat rides go, this one has been anchored for almost two years waiting for cinemas to get the COVID all clear.

Set in 1916, Dr Lily Houghton (Blunt) enlists the aid of wisecracking skipper Frank Wolff (Johnson) to take her and comedy relief brother McGregor (Whitehall) down the Amazon in his ramshackle boat.

Cue lots of snakes, piranhas, even more water and a nice little twist in the tale.

Disney has pulled out all the stops on casting with a supporting cast of character talent including an under utilised Paul Giamatti and Jesse Plemons hamming it up as the Kaiser’s villainous son, but the adventure/romance format is highly derivative, made even more difficult by the complete lack of sexual chemistry between the leads.

The dialogue is light enough, but for all the banter, this just feels like a nice money gig for everyone involved.

RATING: 5/10

Mick Ferris

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