We Already Got One “Mummy” Reboot That Didn’t Work — We Didn’t Need “Jungle Cruise”
"It's just a really sad time for Disney, I think."
On today's episode of BuzzFeed Daily, we broke down the top pop culture headlines AND discussed Disneyland ride-turned-movie Jungle Cruise. You can listen below or scroll down to read more about the interview!
BuzzFeed Daily: Okay, so this movie is basically the plot of The Mummy, right?
Mae Abdulbaki: Yes. I mean, there are certain scenes, like the beginning in a library of some sort trying to get an arrowhead for her adventure. And it pretty much mirrors the same one from The Mummy with Evelyn kind of reaching for a book and knocking down a bunch of stuff. And she also has a brother who aids her on this adventure and she meets up with a man — in this instance, Frank Wolf, played by Dwayne Johnson — who is going to help her get to the Tree of Life. So it's very much reminiscent of The Mummy's plot and character dynamics. I don't know if it pays tribute to it so much as it copies it. But, yeah, a lot of Mummy similarities, a lot of even like Pirates [of the Caribbean] similarities as well.
BuzzFeed Daily: You mentioned The Mummy, obviously, and Pirates. But when I was watching it, I noticed a lot of comparisons to other things like Jumanji, and there was a scene from National Treasure 2 where they're underneath this water thing and they discover this weird temple. I feel like that was kind of similar. And even Indiana Jones and — I don't know how many people here have actually seen The African Queen with Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn, but I was like, "This is the same movie." So I mean, we've seen Hollywood recycled the same idea time and time again. But what sticks out about Jungle Cruise in particular, if anything?
MA: I don't think that there's anything particular that sticks out, other than the fact that it's probably Disney's first original film outside of Marvel and Star Wars and live-action animated films, I think since National Treasure in 2004. So it's been quite some time — I think that's what stood out to me. But as a film itself, I wouldn't say that like, six months from now I'll remember certain details about the movie or the jokes or even like the vibe, you know what I mean? It just exists and it's sort of there to be enjoyable. But afterwards, I don't think it's going to make as big of an impact as the films it's trying to emulate, for sure.
BuzzFeed Daily: So do you think that Disney just wanted to give us a movie we've already seen and hope we didn't realize it? I mean, even though you said it's original, it's still based on a ride. Are they kind of just throwing this at us and hoping we don't say anything?
MA: I mean, I feel like that's definitely been the case with them for a long time now. As a company, they don't really take any risks with regards to their movies or even their streaming service. They have Marvel and they have Star Wars, and that's kind of been the big conversation starters for several decades now. Sad as it is to say, because like back in the '90s, the 2000s, Disney was actually coming out with interesting or at least engaging films, National Treasure, Pirates. Yes, Pirates is also based on a ride, but it had its own sense of personality and adventure. So it's just a really sad time for Disney, I think.