The Rotten Tomatoes score for Disney's Jungle Cruise movie is now out, and the initial wave of reviews is looking... favorable! Jungle Cruise has an aggregate score of 67% with 30 reviews submitted (at the time of writing this), with 20 "Fresh" and 10 "Rotten" reviews. In short, it seems as though about two-thirds of the critics that saw Jungle Cruise enjoyed it, with many of those positive reviews calling Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Emily Blunt's new adventure movie a thrilling reminder of what summer blockbusters are all about. However, the negative reviews say that Disney's latest attempt to turn a theme park ride into a blockbuster franchise is a miss.
Like the river itself, Jungle Cruise is constantly moving and evolving. There's never really a time to slow down too much, as something else is always lurking around the next corner. When there are scenes that count on heavy exposition or character building, they remain as entertaining as the big action sequences because of the chemistry between Johnson and Blunt, as well as the unpredictable nature of the setting. Like the great adventure movies that have come before, Jungle Cruise is never boring... [it's] the adventure we've been waiting for, the kind of grand tale that reminds us of the movies that made many of us love movies in the first place. Hopefully it's the start of a new trend, bringing the long-lost art of swashbuckling tentpoles back to prominence once again.
However, LA Times' Justin Chang doesn't feel like Jungle Cruise goes far enough beyond feeling like a product to actually achieve cinematic magic:
"Jungle Cruise," despite its more-than-capable leads and its much-vaunted attention to detail and verisimilitude, never feels transporting in the way that even mediocre blockbusters were once able to muster. It's less an expedition than a simulation, a dispatch from a wild yet oddly pristine world where seeing is never close to believing.
THR's David Rooney says that comparatively speaking (and for what it's worth), Jungle Cruise isn't Disney's worst attempt to convert a theme park ride into a blockbuster movie:
Compared to other attempts to turn theme park attractions into fresh revenue streams, it's not as lifeless as The Haunted Mansion or Tomorrowland. But that doesn't mean it's good.
Jungle Cruise arrives in theaters and on Disney+ Premier Access on July 30th.