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3 things Disney absolutely needs to improve in the sequel

The action hit Jungle Cruise is a revelation. Fast-paced and humorous, it brings the great adventure back to the screen and gives Dwayne Johnson his first really good blockbuster after 20 years. With almost the same start in the cinema and on Disney +, its success is still difficult to gauge, but Disney is already showing confidence in the franchise potential of the film: Jungle Cruise 2 is under discussion.

  • Jungle Cruise now in the cinema or on Disney + *

Dwayne Johnson reveals preparations for Jungle Cruise 2

As Dwayne Johnson recently announced on Twitter, he will meet with those responsible next weekend to discuss the possibility of a sequel.

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Apart from the ever looming risk of a cinema flop, the announcement is not surprising either: The great jungle adventure around scientist Lily Houghton (Emily Blunt), her brother MacGregor (Jack Whitehall) and the rascal riverboat captain Frank Wolff (Johnson), who on Amazon is looking for a fabled cure is Made for the start of a film series.

Not only does Jungle Cruise share certain aspects with a successful franchise like Pirates of the Caribbean. The blockbuster seems to be consciously holding back, for example, with regard to the background stories of its characters to fuel the anticipation for part 2.

3 things that must change in Jungle Cruise 2 with Dwayne Johnson

MacGregor (right) in Jungle Cruise

This is exactly where Part 2 has to improve a few things if the sequel is to surpass the first. Because even if the chemistry between the main characters is bombastic, the character development in particular affects the quality of the film negatively at times. In order to help out in the future, a promise must first be kept. Beware, spoilers!

1. Jack Whitehall’s character in Jungle Cruise 2 needs a love story

One of the most memorable moments in Disney’s Amazon adventure isn’t about German princes or Spanish zombies, but about the coming-out of Jack Whitehall’s character MacGregor. In a brief respite, he reveals to Dwayne Johnson’s Frank that he disowned by his family because of his homosexual interests became. Only his sister stood by him, which is why he loyally supports her in her endeavors.

The reaction to the scene was mixed. Actor Whitehall, for example, is proud of the scene:

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The deliberate use of a homosexual figure is certainly more new territory for the Mäuse-Studio: In the past Disney created queer idols from Frozen 2 to Mulan rather unintentionally. Against this background, the representation in Jungle Cruise did not go far enough for many viewers: The word “gay” is not even mentioned MacGregor’s revelation also serves to give Johnson’s character the sheen of openness. Disney should step up here.

In Part 2, the producers can now prove that the Step towards the LGBTQ + community doesn’t just pay lip service was. MacGregor’s homosexuality should be part of the story – preferably in the form of a love story. If you shake hands, you should be ready to pull the other person on board (the river boat).

2. Jungle Cruise 2 has to strengthen Emily Blunt’s character

However, there is also some catching up to do with the heterosexual rendezvous between Frank Wolff and Lily Houghton. Because during the first half of Jungle Cruise Emily Blunt’s heroine was exemplary independent, stubborn, shrewd figure established, their inner strength diminishes significantly in the second part.

Lily Houghton in Jungle Cruise

This has to do with the fact that Frank reveals a surprising secret about himself to her and his affection for her becomes clear. Shifting the focus of the narrative is no big deal. However, Lily loses astonishing versatility as a result: Where there were previously eloquent dialogue duels, now she adores Frank headlessly. Your Indiana Jones Bravado has given way to a sudden fit of numb infatuation.

That’s a shame, because for a long time Lily is the most exciting character in the film. If Disney doesn’t want to degrade its female characters to dramaturgical cardboard constellations, Jungle Cruise 2 should be different. Love doesn’t have to be left out. Honeymoon, all right. But then fewer heart eyes and more stubborn duels at eye level.

3. Indigenous peoples need more space in Jungle Cruise 2

Dealing on an equal footing also affects the third Jungle Cruise problem. It’s not about the main characters, but rather about the indigenous supporting characters who support the adventure trio in the film. It is precisely these population groups that should be given more weight in a sequel.

Indigenous ceremony in Jungle Cruise

This is not an out-of-the-air political murderous argument. If such considerations on equality in the dramaturgy bother you, you should take a look at the story basics of the film.

After all, this is about three characters who all come from colonial countries and are traveling to a (former) colony. Their goal is to benefit from a resource of this land for whatever reason – without asking permission from the original inhabitants.

Indigenous people are not denigrated in Jungle Cruise, the brutal colonial treatment of them is even clearly condemned. The story of the film closes them anyway neat accessories of the European thirst for adventure. Such representations, as subtle as their shades may be, are no longer up-to-date. Here, too, Disney should invest time to improve.

When will Jungle Cruise 2 hit theaters?

When can we look forward to Jungle Cruise 2?

And Disney should have plenty of them: Jungle Cruise has only been in theaters since July 29, 2021 and on Disney + since July 30, 2021. With a continuation is Definitely not before 2023 to be expected.

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