“The Legend Of Tarzan” is Worth Being Told (Movie Review)

Jul 5, 2016

The Legend of Tarzan (2016)
Warner Bros. Pictures

Written by: Adam Cozad, Craig Brewer
Directed by: David Yates
Starring: Alexander Skarsgard, Rory J. Saper, Christian Stevens, Christoph Waltz, Margot Robbie, Samuel L. Jackson

The Good
You can tell right off the bat this movie was intentionally made to be seen in 3D. There are only one or two “in your face” moments with the 3D, but the biggest accomplishment of the 3D effects was it added depth to what you see. If you’re afraid of heights, you may slightly hold your breath a few times thanks to the us of great camera angles as Tarzan swings through the jungle.

Rather than giving us the same old Tarzan origin story, this film is a bit of a prequel and sequel all in one. We’re reminded of Tarzan’s past through periodic flashbacks. It was also nice how the majority of the film takes place with a more “civilized” Tarzan about a decade after leaving he jungle.

Alexander Skarsgård really looks and sounds the part (even though he wasn’t given many lines). It’s kind of hard to imagine anyone else playing a better Tarzan from this point. Christoph Waltz (plays, “Leon Rom”) delivers the great level of acting we’ve come to expect as the villain. Samuel L. Jackson (who plays George Washington Williams) served as the entertaining comic relief of the film.

The action and fight scenes were also a highlight. It was cool to see Tarzan display his “wild” fighting style against animals and humans.

The Bad
While Skarsgard and Jackson shared some nice on screen chemistry, there were moments where it simply felt a little cheesy. (Remember those corny lines from buddy-cop movies?) Besides that, we understand that Tarzan has a unique relationship with animals, but the ending seemed to push it a little too far in my opinion.

Now I don’t know if this is truly a “Bad” or not, so you can decide for yourself. There is a bit of a concern as to whether this movie fell victim to playing the “White Savior” role yet again. I won’t go into too much detail, but I will only say that IF the African Slave Trade was something that was highlighted in Tarzan novels, then there is no issue here at all. However, if Hollywood interjected slavery into this film, to prop up Tarzan, then that’s a bit problematic in my opinion. (I have not read the novels so make of this point whatever you like.)

The Reason
I thought this was a good adaptation of the classic tale. It’s probably fair to say that it’s one of the best Tarzan films to date. I can’t say that anything in this film necessarily wow’d me, but I was entertained the whole time. I saw the film in IMAX 3D, but I don’t think it’s nearly worth that much. I do think that if you plan on seeing it in theaters, then 3D would be ideal.