Jungle Cruise 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray review

Jungle Cruise, Disney, Ultra HD Blu-ray & All-Region BD, £25

Movie: Jungle Cruise is the latest film to be inspired by a Disney theme park ride, and like the earlier Pirates of the Caribbean it’s a fun romp that takes the essence of the original ride and adds a comedic action plot with a healthy dose of magic. In fact, it essentially borrows the plot of the first Pirates... film, along with a dash of 1999’s The Mummy in the form of Emily Blunt’s adventurous botanist Dr. Lily Houghton and her ne’er-do-well brother MacGregor (Jack Whitehall).

The duo hire steamboat skipper Frank Wolff (Dwayne Johnson) to guide them up the Amazon River in search of the Tears of the Moon – fabled flowers that can cure any illness. The movie pokes affectionate fun at the ride that inspired it, is imaginatively lensed by Jaume Collet-Serra (The Shallows, The Commuter), and includes some impressively hammy performances from Jesse Plemons and Paul Giamatti. The result is a film that is way more enjoyable than it has any right to be.
Movie rating: 4/5

Picture: Jungle Cruise was shot digitally and finished as a 2K digital intermediate, which isn’t surprising considering the extensive visual effects. For this 4K presentation the image has been upscaled to 2160p and given a colourful HDR10 grade. A healthy bit-rate and pristine source material ensure the transfer is as clean as a whistle.

There's wonderful detail in the jungle foliage, the fine stitching on costumes, and the stubble on The Rock’s face. At times the visual clarity betrays all the CGI imagery, and a degree of digital smoothing appears to have been applied to Emily Blunt in close-ups – which hardly seems necessary – but otherwise it’s a precisely rendered image.

The HDR grade delivers a nuanced and often gorgeously saturated colour palette that naturally skews towards greens and browns. There’s variety in the colours of the jungle, sunsets are bathed in a golden hue, and skin tones look natural. Blacks are deep, and there are some lovely specular highlights, such as gold filigree on armour.
Picture rating: 4.5/5

Audio: This Dolby Atmos soundtrack is an active, engaging mix that uses discrete height effects to inject plenty of atmospherics to the proceedings, particularly when the film goes deep under the rainforest canopy. Things kick up a gear during the action scenes, such as when Frank’s boat is chased by a submarine, and the serious LFE extension reaches foundation-rattling proportions when our heroes brave the rapids.

A rousing score by James Newton Howard keeps the action moving at a breakneck pace, but the high point is Metallica’s epic instrumental reworking of Nothing Else Matters during a flashback sequence, which gives the film an unexpectedly ‘metal’ vibe.
Audio rating: 5/5

Extras: All bonuses are on the included Blu-ray, and are unusually extensive for a new release. 'Jungle Cruise Expedition Mode' adds pop-up facts, trivia and Easter eggs throughout the movie, while 'It’s a Jungle Out There' covers the making of the film. There are also deleted scenes, outtakes, and featurettes about Johnson and Blunt, location shooting, and more.
Extras rating: 4.5/5


We say: An enjoyable expedition up the Amazon with sumptuous HDR visuals, immersive sonics and a steamboat full of extras.