Movie Review to Improve Your Spoken English: Jungle Cruise

Movie Review to Improve Your Spoken English: Jungle Cruise

Watching English films and movies is an excellent way to learn English. Not only is it an interesting and entertaining form of learning, you hear how people speak in person and learn words in context.

One of the best family-friendly movies released this year is Jungle Cruise, a fantasy adventure film based on Walt Disney’s theme park attraction of the same name.

Starring big man “The Rock” Dwayne Johnson, and British actress Emily Blunt, Jungle Cruise follows the captain of a small riverboat who takes scientist Dr Lily Houghton and her brother, MacGregor, through a jungle in search of the Tree of Life.

With its breathtaking scenes and good humour, Jungle Cruise could well make its way into your vault (more likely Disney+ library in present times) of favourite movies. Are you ready to go on an adventure down the Amazon River?

The year is 1556. Don Aguirre leads Spanish conquistadors to South America to search for the Tears of the Moon, a mythical tree whose flowers cure illness, heal injuries, and lift curses. After many of them die, a local tribe heals the survivors with the tree’s flowers but the tribal chief refuses to reveal the tree’s location and is stabbed by Aguirre. The dying chief curses the conquistadors, making them immortal and unable to leave the Amazon River for all eternity.

Fast forward to 1916 London, Lily steals an arrowhead artefact from the Royal Society after her request to access it is denied. She believes the arrowhead and an old map are key to finding the tree, which in turn could help the British war effort.

With Prince Joachim, a German royal seeking the tree to help Germany win the war, hot on their heels, Lily and MacGregor make their way to Brazil where they reluctantly enlist the help of Frank Wolff to find the tree. They narrowly escape Joachim who attacks them in a German submarine and later travel downriver.

As Frank, Lily and MacGregor discover that the tree’s location from the arrowhead’s symbols and that it only blooms under a blood moon, Joachim locates the conquistadors inside a cave and offers to lift their curse if they retrieve the arrowhead.

The conquistadors manage to catch up with the trio but vines drag them back into the jungle when Lily crosses the curse’s boundaries. Along the lines, Lily and MacGregor discover that Frank is also one of the conquistadors.

Leaving an injured MacGregor behind with a tribe, Frank and Lily go in search of the tree but then MacGregor is captured by Joachim and is forced to reveal his sister’s location. All of them, including the Spaniards, converge on the tree. They learn that the arrowhead is actually a heart-shaped locket containing a gemstone. The dormant tree blooms under the blood moon when the gem and locket are placed in its trunk. As a fight ensues, Lily recovers one flower, which she sacrifices for Frank to restore his mortality after he is captured by the vines.

Words and Phrases to Learn:

fantasy – cannot occur in the real world

breathtaking – astonishing or awe-inspiring

good humour – cheerful feelings

vault – a secured room used for storage

conquistador – Spanish conquerors in the 16th century

mythical – occurring in myths or folk tales

immortal – living forever

for all eternity – forever

artefact – an object made by a human being, typically one of cultural or historical interest

in turn – in exchange, as a response to another action

hot on one’s heels – following close behind someone

enlist – engage a person or their help

retrieve – get or bring something back from somewhere

trio – a group of three people

boundary – a dividing line

converge – to come close together or meet

dormant – temporarily inactive

mortality – the state of being subject to death

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