Capers Johnson, Blunt and Whitehall in the Amazon
The main inspiration for that attraction was the movie The African Queen, still a huge hit when the original Disneyland opened in 1955.
You just have to look at the poster to see how big screen entertainment has changed over the decades.
Here, Humphrey Bogart’s weather-beaten, boozy steamboat captain has turned into Dwayne Johnson’s hulking Frank Wolff, a slightly roguish sailor who looks like he’s smuggled protein powder into his bottles of rum.
And instead of Katharine Hepburn’s sharp-tongued primitive spinster, there’s acrobatic action woman Dr. Lily Houghton by Emily Blunt.
In a striking opening sequence, the Doctor carries out a daring robbery at a London museum in 1916, using her dim-witted, genteel brother MacGregor (Jack Whitehall) as a distraction.
Arriving in Porto Velho in northwestern Brazil, she hires Captain Frank to take her and MacGregor to the Amazon to find the legendary Tears of the Moon, a tree laden with neon petals that can cure any disease.
Hot on their tail is a German submarine led by aristocrat Prince Joachim (Jesse Plemons) who also searches for the magical petals, believing they can win the Great War for the Homeland.
The banter between Blunt and Johnson is a few thousand miles from Bogart and Hepburn, but it’s pace, the CGI is smooth, and Whitehall raises a few titters.
When a band of undead conquistadors washes ashore, the film comes perilously close to a pirate scam.
Will this new franchise have the sea legs for five or possibly six sequels. I’m not so sure. The sane Johnson is a capable kid entertainer, but this adult missed the wacky antics of the recently canceled Johnny Depp.
Now in cinemas
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