Main cast: Isabela Moner (Dora), Eugenio Derbez (Alejandro Gutierrez), Michael Peña (Cole), Eva Longoria (Elena), Danny Trejo (Boots the Monkey), Jeff Wahlberg (Diego), Benicio del Toro (Swiper the Fox), Nicholas Coombe (Randy), Madeleine Madden (Sammy), Temuera Morrison (Powell), Adriana Barraza (Abuelita Valerie), Pia Miller (Mami), and Q’orianka Kilcher (Inca Princess Kawillaka)
Director: James Bobin
Oh no, “flopper no flopping” isn’t going to work as this live action version of Dora and the Lost City of Gold isn’t stealing the competition in the box office at the moment. Then again, given how this thing doesn’t seem to know what exactly it wants to be, perhaps it’s for the best that we don’t encourage this kind of thing in the future.
Dora, as I’m sure most people will know, is an unbearably annoying protagonist in a kiddie show that challenges the audience to help her solve puzzles and overcome adversity by chanting dumb things like “Dumbos no dumbing!” Okay, okay, the formula works for kids and it probably teaches them useful things, but I personally can’t bear to watch more than ten minutes of a single episode. I do give this one a try because the trailer suggested that this one could be an unexpected kind of fun like Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle turned out to be.
Oh boy. In this one, Dora faces her biggest challenge yet: to live in the suburbs with her cousin Diego and his parents, while her parents explore the jungles seeking a lost Incan ruin. Our heroine is… clueless, to put it nicely, in an improbable manner. She knows the music of Miami Sound Machine, for example, but she doesn’t know what a bus is. She doesn’t seem to get that you don’t write on the T-shirts of strangers or do other weird “Boundaries? What’s that?” things, but at the same time, she knows of other things that she shouldn’t know if she didn’t know basic social niceties. At the same time, she is all self righteous about how she isn’t changing because this walking social disaster is the “true” her… in other words, our heroine whines that she can’t fit in, but she expects the world to conform to her instead of compromising and learning some social niceties along the way. Is this something we want our kids to learn?
The movie becomes a but better when the fun moves to the jungles after Dora decides to look for her parents, but she remains an obnoxious proud-to-be-an-idiot moron who fortunately is a Mary Sue that knows everything and anything about playing Lara Croft. There are also talking animals and other things to remind me of the annoying cartoon this perky dumb thing originated from, and I soon question my choice to watch this thing.
There is some knowing humor here and there about the absurdity of certain things in this movie, but I leave the cinema with a burning loathing for this teenage version of Dora, who manages to come off as even more childish and dumb than her much younger cartoon counterpart. Leave this one to the kids, and let the adults watch something else less aggravating on the nerves.