It’s 1916 in London, where Dr Lily Houghton (Emily Blunt) is trying to persuade a male-dominated scientific association of the medicinal benefits of an ancient tree with miraculous healing flowers. Disregarded and dismissed, she sets off for the Amazon with her wary brother, MacGregor (Jack Whitehall), determined to find the legendary Tears of the Moon tree for herself.
When Lily arrives in the Amazon, she enlists Frank Wolff (Dwayne Johnson) to take her down the river on his decrepit but charming boat. Prince Joachim (Jesse Plemmons) of Germany has also heard the tales of a tree so powerful its flowers can cure death itself. He wants it to win the war for his country and will stop at nothing to keep Lily from finding it. Lily, however, is not to be underestimated. Her dream of finding the tree and studying its flowers to help all of humanity keeps her going.
The journey into the heart of the Amazon is filled with danger and deception. There are poisonous creatures, inhospitable terrain and a band of undead conquistadors cursed by the jungle and the ancient tribes who were once its keepers. The conquistadors are also searching for the tree in the hopes that the Tears of the Moon might lift their curse and set them free.
But the tree is well concealed and only those with the purest intentions have any hope of finding it.
Ancient curses; the undead; gender discrimination; deception; greed and selfishness
Jungle Cruise has some violence. For example:
- Lily kicks a man and threatens him with a spear. She knocks over a display of swords. The swords fall, blades down, around another man.
- Skeletons hang from trees.
- A tarantula and scorpion fight to the death, while rowdy men bet on the outcome.
- Piranhas attack Frank. It looks like the piranhas are feasting on him, but he later turns out to be fine, although his shirt is shredded.
- Frank’s pet jaguar appears to attack men in a bar.
- Lily is kidnapped and thrown into a cage with screaming birds. She escapes the cage by kicking a man in the crotch, slamming another man into a wall, shoving spicy peppers into a man’s face, and freeing caged monkeys.
- Prince Joachim shoots at Frank’s boat and later tries to sink it with a torpedo. Frank steers the boat past an old building that gets destroyed, along with all the boats in the bay.
- Frank shoots his gun into the tree, and a rat falls down dead. He places this in the water and, with a net, gets out a pile of fish, all of which taste like blood.
- A primitive tribe throws darts at Lily, Frank and MacGregor and then kidnaps them.
- Lily and MacGregor both punch Frank in the face.
- An old conquistador suddenly comes out of the jungle and tries to kill Frank by slitting his throat. More conquistadors appear, all intent on killing villagers. They stab a man and set him on fire. Lily punches a man when he tries to strangle her.
- A character is shot in the head, and another is knocked unconscious.
- Frank is stabbed in the chest and falls through the trees, knocking against branches as he plummets to the rocks below. Lily watches in horror and later pulls a sword out of his heart.
- In a flashback the conquistadors are shown destroying an Amazon village. They’re later trapped in a cave and cursed, never to leave the sight of the river.
- Prince Joachim and his men fight Lily and Frank as they attempt to reach the Tears of the Moon. The prince is crushed by a rock, and Frank and Lily are left to fight the undead conquistadors on their own.
Jungle Cruise has some sexual references, including the suggestion that MacGregor might be homosexual.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
Jungle Cruise shows some use of substances. For example:
- Frank offers Lily a drink while pretending to be someone else.
- People drink alcohol in a bar. One man collapses on the floor, completely drunk.
- MacGregor brings a crate of wine on board the boat, and Frank agrees that it can stay.
- Frank’s jaguar gets into the wine and is obviously drunk. It staggers around on deck before vomiting and passing out.
Nudity and sexual activity
Jungle Cruise has some nudity and sexual activity. For example, Frank and Lily kiss a couple of times.
The following products are displayed or used in Jungle Cruise: an old-fashioned Buick is driven down the streets of London with its logo prominently displayed.
Jungle Cruise has some coarse language and insults, including ‘hell’, ‘ruddy’, ‘crusty old farts’, ‘shove it up your association’ and ‘wimpy’.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Jungle Cruise is an action adventure movie based on the famous Disneyland theme park ride.
Although Jungle Cruise is marketed as a family movie and features Emily Blunt as an excellent role model for young women, this isn’t one for young children. Because of its frequent violence, some scary scenes and creepy characters, this movie is best suited to teenage and adult audiences.
These are the main messages from Jungle Cruise:
- Follow your dreams no matter where they take you.
- Sacrifices will be rewarded.
- Broken hearts can be healed.
- Ultimately good will prevail.
Values in Jungle Cruise that you could reinforce with your children include persistence, determination, courage, ingenuity and faith.
Jungle Cruise could also give you the chance to talk with your children about the real-life consequences of things like:
- thinking that women or girls are incompetent and not as resourceful or resilient as men
- taking things that don’t belong to you and using them for your own personal gain
- lying or deceiving others
- using natural resources without thinking about the environmental impact of your actions.