'Jungle Cruise': AAPI Heritage Month Must-See Movies

Today's highlighted movie is Disney's upcoming summer tentpole "Jungle Cruise," starring AAPI legend Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.

Chuck Walton

By Chuck Walton

Jungle Cruise AAPI Heritage Month

© Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

The movie is based on the popular Disney attraction, and has been on course for movie theaters for 14 years running. We're happy to see "Jungle Cruise" emerge in the end as a fantastic AAPI star vehicle for Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, and his incredible co-star Emily Blunt.

The Movie

To us, the film's trailer (see below) advertises "Jungle Cruise" as sort of an AAPI action movie update. It's sort of a cross between "The African Queen" and "Raiders of the Lost Ark."

Set during the early 20th century, "Jungle Cruise" features Dwayne Johnson as a veteran river boat captain. His latest job involves taking Emily Blunt's scientist and her younger brother (Jack Whitehall) into the jungle. They're on a quest to find the Tree of Life, believed to possess magical healing powers.

They're not the only ones on this mission. A competing German team also has designs on the tree. And both expeditions will have to deal with the wilds of the jungle.

Originally slated for release in October 2019, "Jungle Cruise" was moved to 2020. However, due to COVID, it was moved a year to summer 2021.

The AAPI Connection

At one point in its development, "Jungle Cruise" was slated for Tom Hanks and Tim Allen. By April 2017, half-Samoan, half-African American wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne Johnson moved into the starring role. As a family-friendly Disney project, "Jungle Cruise" is a commercial summer entertainment that just happens to feature an AAPI in the lead. To sum up, it's great to see the community headline broad movie hits meant for all audiences.

© Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

© Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

Why You Should See It

Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt are both massively appealing movie stars. As a result, we're looking forward to seeing their chemistry together. This is action-adventure filmmaking on a grand scale, and has the potential to bring all kinds of moviegoers to theaters together. Director Jaume Collet-Sera is a Spanish filmmaker worth rooting for, who's already shown he can helm genre thrills with movies like "The Shallows" and "Non-Stop."

© Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

© Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

Did You Know

Collet-Sera got his start on horror flick "House of Wax" with Paris Hilton, before establishing himself with four Liam Neeson action films: "Unknown," "Non-Stop," "Run All Night," and "The Commuter." Action stars like working with him, with Dwayne Johnson starring for him in "Jungle Cruise" and the highly anticipated DCEU film "Black Adam."

Chuck Walton

Chuck is an editor/writer who's worked for NCM, Fandango, Movies.com, MediaTrip, Hollywood.com and Newsweek. His favorite movie is "Jaws." He's definitely a dog guy.

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