Jungle Cruise: A pacy navigation but ‘dangerously close’ to Pirates Of The Caribbean | Films | Entertainment

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The main inspiration for that attraction was the movie The African Queen, still a massive hit when the original Disneyland opened in 1955.

You just need to glance at the poster to see how big-screen entertainment has changed over the decades.

Here Humphrey Bogart’s weather-beaten, booze-addled steamboat captain has turned into Dwayne Johnson’s hulking Frank Wolff, a mildly roguish sailor who looks like he has been sneaking protein powder into his bottles of rum.

And instead of Katharine Hepburn’s prim, sharp-tongued spinster, there is Emily Blunt’s acrobatic action-woman Dr Lily Houghton.

In a striking opening scene, the doctor performs a daredevil heist at a museum in 1916 London, using her dim-witted, posh brother MacGregor (Jack Whitehall) as a distraction.

Arriving in Porto Velho in northwest Brazil, she hires Captain Frank to take her and MacGregor up the Amazon to find the fabled Tears of the Moon, a tree laden with neon petals capable of healing any illness.

Hot on their tails is a German submarine captained by aristocrat Prince Joachim (Jesse Plemons) who also seeks the magic petals, believing they can win the Great War for the Fatherland.

The screwball banter between Blunt and Johnson is a few thousands leagues away from Bogart and Hepburn, but it’s pacy, the CGI is slick and Whitehall raises a couple of titters.

When a gang of undead conquistadors wash up, the film sails dangerously close to becoming a Pirates rip-off.

Will this new franchise have the sea legs for five, or possibly six, sequels. I’m not so sure. The wholesome Johnson is a capable children’s entertainer, but this adult missed the off-kilter antics of the recently cancelled Johnny Depp.

In cinemas now

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