In the early 2000’s Disney released a trio of movies based upon some of their theme park attractions. The first, Country Bears, is a weird, weird film that bombed hard. The second, the first of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, did astoundingly well, which just made the third, a beautifully designed but horribly written Haunted Mansion movie, feel all the worse. After that final flop, Disney quietly backed away from making films based on their rides (aside from Pirates sequels, technically, but that’s a discussion for another article).
Until now, 16 years and a lot of false starts and rumors about Tom Hanks later, when we finally have a trailer for a new one in this interesting little subgenre, based on the famous Jungle Cruise ride. And…it’s a Brendan Fraser Mummy movie! And I mean that in the very best way, but still.
Tell me if you’ve heard this one before. A smart, academic woman with a British accent and her brother find an ancient artifact leading to an ancient and lost treasure in a dangerous part of the world, and must enlist the help of a grumpy, unhelpful man familiar with the area in order to go and find it. It’s The Mummy (1999) formula pure and simple, just with set on the Amazon.
And that’s by no means a bad thing. While I am somewhat of a bigger fan of the 2017 rendition of that story, Fraser’s The Mummy was an amazingly fun, goofy, good time. And the main characters are being played by Emily Blunt and Dwayne Johnson, two wonderfully talented and charismatic actors. I confess that I had a wonderful time and a big smile on my face watching the trailer. Especially the introduction to Johnson’s character, in which we see that he has a whole system set up of fake animals and a staged attack by Natives he’s befriended to trick gullible rich people (complete with a hilarious reference to the ride that might just feel dumb and clunky if you’re unfamiliar with said ride).
Set to release in July of next year, Disney’s Jungle Cruise looks like a funny, charming good time, and I for one cannot wait to see the adventure.