While those parents who grew up with Indy and Romancing the Stone might have seen a lot of this stuff before, it’s right in the wheelhouse for movie-loving youngsters not quite ready to watch Nazis’ faces melt in "Raiders." For those kiddos, Johnson’s big lug and Blunt’s eager explorer offer an enjoyable welcome to the “Jungle.”
It is a fine adventure with two genuine movie stars that may very well become a rewatchable staple like the films it references. But on first watch, it mostly comes across as an earnest and safe homage.
This overstuffed adventure-comedy barely takes a breath while bombarding the viewer with spectacle, special effects and one-liners — but what ultimately makes the film so likeable is the flirty rapport between Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt as a mismatched pair in search of a magical tree somewhere deep in the Amazon.
Shyamalan teases out new information in just the right doses, remembering all the while that this is, at its core, a B-picture. It isn’t gory, but it’s gross, and the camera knows just how much to show to keep us dialed in.
Here, the Texas writer-director revels in the opportunity to create image after image worthy of immortalization: The Green Knight is his most purely striking achievement, offering sprawling forests bathed in ghostly orange light and overhead shots that suggest the surveying eye of a curious god.
Lowery creates a spiritual cousin to Shakespeare’s Prince Hal, torn between taverns and common folk and his highborn destiny. There’s a lot here, either on the surface or bubbling beneath it. In its Christianity vs. paganism square-off, The Green Knight lands on a note (and an event) very different from the poem’s.