Continuing our look at the villains from the Jungle Cruise adaption, we come to the film’s main villain Prince Joachim and much like Lope de Aguirre, he too is based on a real person.
Now finding information about the real Joachim has proven rather hard and it’s hard to tell if he was a good person or not. He was almost given the throne of Ireland but that never went through. The most notable thing I have been able to find out about him is that his father abdicated his position of power in 1920, Joachim took his life as he couldn’t deal with living the life of a commoner. Since finding information about Joachim’s real-life counterpart has proven tough, I don’t think it’s fair to compare his fictionalized version to the actual person as I do not know enough about the actual person to say whether or not, it’s fair to compare and for that reason, I’ll focus solely on the movie version of Joachim.
Jesse Plemons is a great actor that has been working for quite some time and has had roles in shows such as Friday Night Lights and Breaking Bad. And I do not believe this is the first time that Plemons has played a villain. He does a great job in the role and Joachim is much more of a comedic villain compared to Lope de Aguirre.
The movie first presents Jochim to us in London where it is learned that he has set up an arrangement to retrieve the arrowhead that everyone is after. If you remember what I mentioned when discussing Aguirre’s actions, everyone had a reason to go after that. This is also where we get a hint of what type of person Jochaim truly is.
Joachim at first presents himself as rather polite and regal as what one would expect a prince to be. However, this is all a ruse as it is hiding a deep and ugly persona full of rage and anger. This is for the most part played for laughs such as when the film plays up how much he gets angry whenever someone mispronounces his name. While I’ll stand by my statement that Joachim is the more comedic villain and Aguirre is the more legitimate threat, Prince Joachim is still just as monstrous. There is a part of me that thinks the idea of playing up Aguirre as the bigger threat while making Joachim a bit jokey works in the character’s favor as it shows Joachim is clearly out of his depth when attempting to work with someone that is much viler than him.
Aguirre is a true and ruthless person and from what we see of Joachim, he does have hints of being ruthless but as we will discuss with his demise, Joachim thinking he could work with someone as monstrous as Aguirre and keep him under his control is what ultimately led to his downfall.
Just like everyone else in the movie, he is after the arrowhead that will them to the Tears of the Moon. However, whereas Aguirre wanted to cure him of his curse and Lily wanted to use it as medicine, Joachim wanted to use it to aid his side in the war. What’s fascinating here is that the movie is set in 1916 two years before the end of World War I. There are quite a few ways to look at this but I do believe that this again can be compared once again to Aguirre’s actions.
If you’ll recall how I mentioned how this most villainous deed was killing members of the tribe that saved his men, I have to imagine that Joachim would have used the Tears of the Moon similarly to help spread mass-wide destruction while protecting his men. In many ways, this is a tricky thing to look at as war is evil and yes, Joachim is presented as a monster but from that perspective, it does make sense as to why he would want the Tears of the Moon.
This is where I wish I could find more information about the real Joachim to see if it is fair to paint this character in such a heinous light.
Most Evil Deed
Thinking about the acts that Joachim commits throughout the film, it’s hard to narrow down what I think his most evil deed is. I think there are two that are strong contenders. The first is him kidnapping Lily towards the climax of the movie but that honestly feels like standard villain fare but I think the thing that truly marks his moment of evil is when he frees Aguirre and his men. On the surface, this may not seem that villainous but doing this shows that Joachim will go to whatever length he deems necessary to get his hands on the ears of the Moon.
Now his downfall doesn’t come directly from Aguirre but he does die in a similar fashion when the character of (ugh) MacGregor punches him as they’re in the cave for the climax and this knocks him into a wall causing boulders to crush him and that is how he dies. A rather swift death that allows more time for Aguirre to take his revenge on Frank. It’s not a bad death but it almost feels like the movie just wants to get him out of way.
Is Prince Joachim A Good Villain?
He’s fine if nothing special as Aguirre is the more memorable villain. He does serve a purpose in the story and Jesse Plemons does deliver a fun performance as Prince Joachim but I think he’s the least memorable of the villains I’ve looked at so far.
Well, I am done with Theme Park Movie adaption villains from movies that were released in theaters. There are still two more to go and join me next time as we head back to the Haunted Mansion and visit it with the Muppets and take a look at Constance Hatchaway.