The first trailer for Jungle Cruise, starring Emily Blunt and Dwayne Johnson, has arrived and I do not have time for this half-dressed bullsh-t, do not try to fool me, I know The Mummy (the good one) when I see it. This is just The Mummy (the good one) dressed up for the jungle instead of the desert. Let’s see what we have here: A sassy British nerd, her brother who is probably a cad, a scoundrel guide, and a quest involving creatures and curses. Don’t lie to me, Disney, this is just The Mummy (the good one)!
I am speaking, of course, of 1999’s The Mummy starring Rachel Weisz as a sassy British nerd, John Hannah as her cad brother, Brendan Fraser as their scoundrel tour guide—aka the best Indiana Jones since Harrison Ford circa 1989—leading them on a quest involving creatures and curses. That is the good one. (The Great One is 1932’s The Mummy starring Boris Karloff. We don’t talk about the other one.) Now I appreciate Emily Blunt as much as anyone—Stanley Tucci’s sister-in-law is always welcome in my house—but don’t lie to me, this bit with the ladder is just a less-good version of Evelyn Carnahan’s bit with the ladder. Raise your hand if that’s the moment you fell in love in Rachel Weisz for all time.
I understand ripping off The Mummy (the good one), that movie totally holds up. But it also means Jungle Cruise looks kind of boring. I guess if you don’t remember The Mummy (the good one), then maybe this works? There aren’t many good jokes, though, and I can’t get a read on Blunt and Johnson. If they’re really ripping off The Mummy (the good one), then the chemistry of the leads is tantamount. The Mummy (the good one) runs 80% on the chemistry of Weisz and Fraser, and 20% on computer effects back when those could still amaze audiences. Audiences are no longer amazed by computer effects, which puts the entire burden of Jungle Cruise on Blunt and Johnson, especially if there aren’t going to be any jokes. If there are no jokes, then the adventure and the romance have to do all the work. Blunt I don’t worry about, she can do both, but we’ve never really seen The Rock try an on screen romance. He had a little back-and-forth with Vanessa Kirby in Hobbs and Shaw, but even that doesn’t go anywhere. I’m probably overthinking it and Jungle Cruise will just be loud and stupid for two hours, but they’re invoking The Mummy (the good one), so I expect them to bring their A game. You don’t name-drop a master and come with that weak sh-t. We’ll see if Jungle Cruise can live up to the gold standard.