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3 Things Disney Absolutely Needs to Improve in the Sequel




The action thriller 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 its release in cinemas and on Disney+ almost at the same time, its success is still difficult to estimate, 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 for a conversation about the possibility of a continuation next weekend.

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Apart from the constant risk of a cinema flop, the news is not surprising: The great jungle adventure around scientist Lily Houghton (Emily Blunt), her brother MacGregor (Jack Whitehall) and the sly-eared riverboat captain Frank Wolff (Johnson), who are looking for a legendary remedy in the Amazon, is for the start of a film series as made.

Not only does Jungle Cruise share certain aspects with a successful franchise like Pirates of the Caribbean. The blockbuster seems to deliberately hold back with regard to the background stories of its characters, for example, in order to to fuel the anticipation of Part 2.

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

MacGregor (right) in Jungle Cruise

However, this is exactly where Part 2 has to improve some things if the sequel is to surpass the first one. Because even if the chemistry between the main characters is bombastic, it is precisely the character development that sometimes negatively affects the quality of the film. In order to help in the future, a promise must first be kept. Careful for spoilers!

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

One of the most memorable moments in Disney’s Amazon adventure is not 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 violated 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 divided. Actor Whitehall, for example, is proud of the scene:

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

In Part 2, the producers can now prove that the Step towards the LGBTQ+ community not just lip service was. MacGregor’s homosexuality should be part of the story – preferably in the form of a love story. Those who reach out should be prepared to pull their counterpart on board (the river boat).

2. Jungle Cruise 2 must strengthen Emily Blunt’s character

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




Lily Houghton in Jungle Cruise

This is due to 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 not a broken leg. However, Lily loses astonishing versatility as a result: where previously eloquent dialogue duels stood, now she adores Frank almost headlessly. Her Indiana Jones Bravado has given way to a sudden bravado of numb infatuation.

That’s a pity, because for long stretches Lily is the most exciting character of the film. If Disney doesn’t want to degrade its female characters to dramaturgical cardboard displays, jungle cruise 2 should be different. Love does not have to be left out. Honeymoon, because of me. But then fewer heart eyes and more duels at eye level.

3. Indigenous peoples must have more space in Jungle Cruise 2

Dealing on an equal footing also affects the third Jungle Cruise problem. It is 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 manslaughter argument. Anyone who is bothered by such considerations of equality in dramaturgy should take a look at the story basics of the film.

After all, this is about three figures, all of whom come from colonial countries and travel to a (former) colony. Their goal, for whatever reason, is to benefit from a resource of this country – without asking the original inhabitants for permission.

Indigenous people are not vilified in Jungle Cruise, the brutal colonial treatment of them is even clearly condemned. However, the story of the film still makes them pretty accessory of the European thirst for adventure. Such depictions, however subtle their shades may be, are no longer up-to-date. Again, Disney should invest time to improve.

When will Jungle Cruise 2 be released in cinemas?

When can we look forward to Jungle Cruise 2?

And Disney should still have a lot of that: Jungle Cruise has only been in cinemas since July 29, 2021 and on Disney+ since July 30, 2021. With a sequel is under no circumstances before 2023 to calculate.

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What do you think should improve in Jungle Cruise 2?


Arjun Sethi
Passionate guitarist, gamer and writer. Lives for the perfect review, and scrapes texts until they are razor-sharp.
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