Welcome aboard, dear readers! The Jungle Cruise has departed into theaters and Disney+ Premier Access, and viewers are encouraged to keep their hands and legs inside the picture at all times. Unless, of course, you happen to be viewing Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt’s roller coaster ride in the format that could make all the difference: 3D! Just when you thought it was safe to put your glasses in the bin for the rest of the summer after Black Widow stormed theaters, it’s time for another To 3D or Not To 3D!
Should you be wondering whether Jungle Cruise is your kind of movie or not, you’ll want to head to our official review of the film, written by Skipper Dirk Libbey! But if you’re questioning whether this movie’s worth the extra 3D money, or if you’re better off buying that sick Metallica cover you can find on the soundtrack, then you’re on the right side of the river! Hang on tight, as we’re about to see if Jungle Cruise is a “To 3D” or a “Not To 3D.”
3D Fit Score: 5/5
As we saw with Black Widow, the 3D Fit factor isn’t always an easy win. Like it or not, the adventure of a movie like Jungle Cruise needs to be balanced with the right amount of dialogue scenes. But even those visually quieter moments in director Jaume Collet-Serra’s Disney blockbuster sparkle in 3D. In fact, there are even some moments that play to the jokey tone of the original attraction that use the medium to some pretty impressive lengths.
Planning & Effort Score: 4/5
Jungle Cruise is an absolute fit for a 3D presentation, but even passing that test doesn’t guarantee that the work put into such a product will be worth your extra money. While there are some minor point deductions throughout the nuts and bolts of Jungle Cruise’s 3D excursion, there is definitely extra care and attention paid to specific thrills sprinkled throughout the movie’s premium presentation.
Before the Window Score: 4/5
The downside to Jungle Cruise’s 3D presentation, specifically when it comes to the Before The Window thrills, is that this effect isn’t used nearly as often as it can be. Again, quieter moments of conversation and observation could still contain moments of objects and characters popping out of the screen from time to time. However, the massive upside is that when Jungle Cruise breaks through the window, it does so impressively. The best example of this effect in use comes early on in the film too, when Dwayne Johnson’s Skipper Frank takes his boat so close to a protruding tree trunk of death, the camera lingers not once, but twice! Add on some premium jump scares, as well as a feisty cheetah, and you have enough to really sink your 3D eyes into.
Beyond the Window Score: 5/5
It should come as no surprise that Jungle Cruise, much like Disney’s The Jungle Book, absolutely crushes the Beyond The Window factor. Characters can be differentiated from one another, and objects don’t blend into the background either. Whether it’s Emily Blunt hanging over a crowded London street or Jesse Plemons threatening to torpedo anything that gets in his way, depth of focus is superbly drawn throughout Jungle Cruise. Even something as simple as wearing a mask pops rather well in this department, but the jungle is truly where this effect shines.
Brightness Score: 4/5
Brightness in a 3D presentation is always a tricky subject, because only part of the end result can be attributed to the team that converts something like Jungle Cruise. The other end of the bargain comes from whether or not your local theater calibrates its 3D rig properly when switching an auditorium between 2D and 3D. For this showing of Jungle Cruise, there was only a slight dimming when slipping the 3D glasses on. Taking them off showed a naturally brighter picture, but putting them back on didn’t ruin the effect; and this is a movie where there’s quite a bit of dark spaces and nighttime scenes on display.
Glasses Off Score: 4/5
Should you take your glasses off during a 3D movie, there’s a stereotypical blur that goes into making the images appear three-dimensional. Typically the more blur there is, the more manipulated an image is when it comes to its 3D appearance. In Jungle Cruise, that blur is more present in the background, which explains the amazing depth drawn in the film’s backgrounds. For the most part, characters seem to be presented in close to 2D clarity, with subtle blurs present. However, they do shift now and again, blurring characters to allow them to stand out a little more in certain sequences.
Audience Health Score: 5/5
Audience Health is the ultimate bookend to the 3D Fit factor, as it’s easy to fall into one of three buckets: fail/meh/pass. Jungle Cruise definitely passes this segment, as it does not tax the eyes one bit. With only the slightest dimming present in the presentation, as well as a keen eye for action, there’s no shaky cam or eye-wonking moments that take you out of the adventure. Though it could stand for some minor tweaks here and there, you won’t grow tired watching Jungle Cruise in 3D.
Is Jungle Cruise worth seeing in theaters? Indeed it is, as the adventure belongs in a theatrical setting. However, I’d go even further and encourage you, the reader, to spend the extra money and see the movie in a 3D presentation. For a picture that’s based on a Disney attraction, the final product moves like a ride anyone would happily queue up for. Adding a fantastic 3D conversion into the mix only heightens the ride, and makes everything feel that much more exciting.
Though do seek out the Jungle Cruise version of Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters,” as it’s been reinterpreted into a pretty amazing new variant. That’s all for now in the world of To 3D or Not To 3D; though we may be free to go an adventure with a certain Guy in the near future for our next installment. So keep your eyes peeled and don’t forget to recycle your glasses in the bin.
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Mike Reyes is the Senior Movie Contributor at CinemaBlend, though that title’s more of a guideline really. Passionate about entertainment since grade school, the movies have always held a special place in his life, which explains his current occupation. Mike graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, but swore off of running for public office a long time ago. Mike's expertise ranges from James Bond to everything Alita, making for a brilliantly eclectic resume. He fights for the user.