Three films enter the South Africa box office, this weekend: Jungle Cruise, Old and Suicide Squad.
With the 1951 classic film The African Queen as the guiding inspiration for Walt Disney’s Imagineers when conceiving the theme park attraction, its cinematic roots were solid for Jungle Cruise, a contemporary retelling.
In Jungle Cruise, Dwayne Johnson takes on the role of a gruff, wisecracking skipper at the helm of a ramshackle-but-charming boat with Emily Blunt as a headstrong researcher who enlists Frank’s questionable services to guide her down the deepest and most dangerous parts of the Amazon River, hoping to uncover the mystery of an ancient tribal artefact – a legendary relic with the power to change the fate of humanity.
At the helm is director Jaume Collet-Serra, from a screen story by John Norville and Josh Goldstein and Glenn Ficarra and John Requa and a screenplay by Michael Green and Glenn Ficarra and John Requa.
From writer-director M Night Shyamalan comes Old, a thriller about a family on a tropical holiday who discover that the secluded beach where they are relaxing for a few hours is somehow causing them to age rapidly, reducing their entire lives into a single day.
It’s an existential thriller that grapples with some of humanity's most eternal enigmas – mortality, regret, love, commitment and the nature of time itself – and that poses deeply provocative questions: If you had to live the rest of your life in one day, how would you spend it? To whom would you spend it? What would matter most to you?
From the horribly beautiful mind of writer/director James Gunn comes Warner Bros. Pictures’ superhero action-adventure The Suicide Squad, featuring a collection of the most degenerate delinquents in the DC lineup.
Directing from his own screenplay, based on characters from DC, Gunn (the Guardian of the Galaxy films) takes the criminals of Task Force X on an outrageously visceral, R-rated wild ride that blends balls-to-the-wall action, blood-spattering violence and life-or-death (most likely the latter) situations with irreverent humour and even heartfelt moments, all filtered through Gunn’s singular vision. Main characters will die while, in all likelihood, audiences will die laughing.
Welcome to hell – AKA Belle Reve, the prison with the highest mortality rate in the US of A. Where the worst super-villains are kept and where they will do anything to get out – even join the super-secret, super-shady Task Force X. Today’s do-or-die assignment? Assemble a collection of cons, including Bloodsport, Peacemaker, Captain Boomerang, Ratcatcher 2, Savant, King Shark, Blackguard, Javelin and everyone’s favourite psycho, Harley Quinn.
Then arm them heavily and drop them (literally) on the remote, enemy-infused island of Corto Maltese. Trekking through a jungle teeming with militant adversaries and guerrilla forces at every turn, the Squad is on a search-and-destroy mission with only Colonel Rick Flag on the ground to make them behave, and Amanda Waller’s government techies in their ears, tracking their every movement. And as always, one wrong move and they’re dead (whether at the hands of their opponents, a teammate or Waller).
With Sean Gunn, Pete Davidson, Mayling Ng, Joel Kinnaman, Jai Courtney, Nathan Fillion, Margot Robbie, Flula Borg and Michael Rooker.
Daniel Dercksen has been a contributor for Lifestyle since 2012. As the driving force behind the successful independent training initiative The Writing Studio and a published film and theatre journalist of 40 years, teaching workshops in creative writing, playwriting and screenwriting throughout South Africa and internationally the past 22 years. Visit www.writingstudio.co.za