Inspired by the Disneyland boat ride, Jungle Cruise is a passable adventure vehicle for Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who stars as roguish river tour guide Frank Wolff, a hustler with a mysterious past and a penchant for telling corny jokes. Emily Blunt costars as Lily Houghton, the de rigueur plucky, independent woman in pants (gasp!) who handily outwits and out-acrobats the men around her as, like a distaff Indiana Jones, she seeks the storied “tears of the moon”, an herbal panacea that could change the course of history. Set during the First World War, the film features as its antagonists mandatory evil German Prince Joachim (Jesse Plemons) and a crew of supernaturally reanimated Spanish conquistadores. Coming from Disney, the whole thing has the annoying CGI sheen of unreality, but it did make me chuckle a couple of times.

3.5 out of 5 stars. Ideological Content Analysis indicates that Jungle Cruise is:

Gay. Tagging along with Frank and Lily is the latter’s homosexual brother MacGregor (Jack Whitehall). Coming out to Frank, MacGregor explains that he has no plans to marry because his “interests lie elsewhere” – prompting ally Frank to drink a toast to “elsewhere”.

Pro-animal, with Lily expressing disapproval of monkeys being kept in a cage. Her brother, meanwhile, winces at the sight of men gambling on a fight staged between a tarantula and a scorpion in a tavern. Frank also has an affectionate relationship with his intelligent jaguar companion Proxima. The insensitive Prince Joachim, by contrast, is depicted smashing bees with his hand.

Anti-racist. Frank warns Lily that they are going into “headhunter territory – a terrible place to be headed”; but, as Jungle Cruise reveals, there are no real cannibals on the Amazon, and the Indians’ blow dart attacks and displays of savagery are just an act they put on to play to European tourists’ bigoted expectations. In a climactic sequence reminiscent of Total Recall, Frank and Lily must activate a complex of ancient technology with the power to heal the world – the existence of which suggests that the pre-Columbian civilization of the region was far more advanced than the science of modern Europeans.

Feminist. The benevolent tribe of jungle Indians is led by a woman (Veronica Falcon).

Anti-white, with Disney’s vitriol directed specifically at heterosexual white men as MacGregor denounces a stodgy British anthropological society as a bunch of “crusty old farts” – with a gallery of white women applauding this remark and demonstrating their LGBTBIMONKEYPOC solidarity. In addition, the German and Spanish villains represent the unfortunate European inclination to imperialism and even Nazism as Prince Joachim’s martial affinity for Richard Wagner hints. That much is to be expected, but did the world really need a melodramatic flashback to a genocidal conquistador depredation set to Disneyfied Metallica?

Rainer Chlodwig von K.

Rainer is the author of Drugs, Jungles, and Jingoism.