Jungle Cruise 2 must avoid repeating POTC’s Depp mistake with The Rock
The Rock’s Jungle Cruise 2 must focus on crafting a compelling story to avoid repeating Pirates of the Caribbean’s dependence on Jack Sparrow.
Disney officially has the green light Jungle Cruise 2, but the sequel must avoid repeating the same mistake with The Rock that they made with Pirates of the Caribbean and Johnny Depp. Receive a simultaneous release in theaters and on Disney +, Jungle cruise struggled financially amid the pandemic, but has proven popular with the public. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Emily Blunt are confirmed to reprise their roles in the sequel, with Jaume Collet-Serra reportedly returning to directing.
Jungle cruise is the latest in Disney’s attempts to turn theme park rides into movies, chasing the likes of Pirates of the Caribbean, The haunted mansion, and The tower of terror. The film follows steamboat captain Frank Wolff (Johnson) as he reluctantly guides Dr Lily Houghton (Blunt) and her brother, MacGregor (Jack Whitehall) along the Amazon River. During their journey, they are attacked by cursed conquistadors and a rival German expedition led by Prince Joachim (Jesse Plemons).
At the end of the film, Frank and Lily develop a romance and he returns with her to London. Meanwhile, MacGregor’s comments suggest that Lily brought home the Tears of the Last Moon petal, although what happened to the petal and its mysterious healing properties is unknown. Although this leaves room to develop the story in Jungle Cruise 2, the sequel must be careful not to rely solely on his star power. Pirates of the CaribbeanDepp’s sequels increasingly relied on Depp’s iconic performance as Jack Sparrow, using his charm to soften loopholes in the franchise’s storytelling and undermine his supporting characters.
Jungle cruise had two key selling points – the lovable dynamics of Blunt and Johnson’s odd couples, and the novelty of recreating the Disneyland attraction on screen. While the trailers promised a daring adventure, Jungle cruisethe story of actually copied Pirates of the Caribbean, 1999 The Mummy, and Indiana Jones. It was one of the most criticized aspects of the film, i.e. Jungle Cruise 2 needs to craft a more compelling narrative that doesn’t rely much on The Rock delivering daddy jokes. Disney has encountered this problem before but never took the opportunity to rectify its mistake. Johnny Depp’s Oscar nomination for Jack Sparrow was well deserved, but the sequels became increasingly dependent on his eccentric character to excuse weak scripts. There were early signs in the first two sequels, though the overall story still featured some memorable characters and daring twists and turns. The same cannot be said of later entries, especially Pirates of the Caribbean: The Dead Tell No Tales, which was riddled with plot holes and failed to develop its characters.
Jungle cruise has already left several questions unanswered, but the sequel doesn’t need to suffer the same fate. Disney will obviously use Johnson’s star power to entice viewers, but they need to be more confident in their premise. Pirates of the Caribbean suites designed by exploring nautical legends and adding to the references of the first film. Every movie in the series had the potential to be a great blockbuster if it hadn’t been for too much importance to hook everything up to Jack Sparrow and put him in wacky situations to bring comedic relief. Tying events to Jack’s past was initially exciting, but gradually became boring. Meanwhile, the backstory of Frank’s Curse was intriguing but under-explored, and his relationship with the villains was glossed over. The film ends with Frank’s boat, La Quila, destroyed, ending his career as a showman in the Amazon, leaving doubt about his purpose. Jungle Cruise 2.
Disney’s new franchise can develop its characters and explore more of the myths of the jungle, with Johnson supporting an adventure well worth it. Jack Sparrow is convincing, but he was not the heart of the first Pirates of the Caribbean, which has several characters that audiences wanted to spend more time with. Jungle Cruise 2 must earn its place by creating a world bigger than The Rock.
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