The first trailer for Jungle Cruise left me merely whelmed. It came across as a knock-off of The Mummy (the good one), and I was not sold on the chemistry of Emily Blunt and Dwayne Johnson, or the lack of jokes in the trailer. This morning, however, we have a new, MUCH better trailer for Jungle Cruise which does a better job of selling this concept and the chemistry of Blunt and Johnson. They actually have some! Not necessarily romantic, but pleasantly spiky and fun nonetheless. This new trailer is a lot less The Mummy, and a lot more, oddly, The African Queen. But for kids? It’s a weird vibe.
It’s obvious Jungle Cruise is following the magical adventure formula of Pirates of the Caribbean, and that’s fine. But Blunt is working a real Katherine Hepburn vibe in this new trailer, coming across as sharp and witty, like a less clumsy Evelyn Carnahan. I’m super into the way she says, “Just leave me alone!” to Johnson’s character. Blunt is SO good at comedy and she hardly ever does it, so Jungle Cruise will probably just be watchable for an Emily Blunt comedy performance. But The Rock is equally good here, appropriately charming and rakish if I still do doubt his on-screen romantic appeal. (I’m actually not sure these two are supposed to have a romantic relationship in this movie, but so far the trailers have evoked two famous adventure movies which feature romantic pairings, so I’m making an assumption based on formula.) Also, we get to see a little bit of Jesse Plemons as the bad guy, and I am ALWAYS here for a Jesse Plemons comedic turn. He really should have gotten an Oscar nomination for Game Night, I will always believe this.
Jungle Cruise is currently set for a July 24 release. As with Mulan and Black Widow, Disney is proceeding with their release schedule as if nothing is changing re: the coronavirus. However, Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway just had its international release pushed back from April to August, with the North American release likely to follow (an Easter-themed rabbit movie in August, that’ll go well). I maintain that Disney will hold steady unless and until the situation reaches a point where they simply cannot, because they won’t want to sacrifice the ad spend or look panicked to investors. Steady and reliable is especially important for Disney right now, following Bob Iger’s surprise semi-retirement last month. For now, I assume we will actually get to see Jungle Cruise in July, and determine if it is more The Mummy: Amazon or The African Queen but for kids.
Attached - Emily Blunt at a press conference for A Quiet Place 2 the other day.