Today I had the chance to see the new Legend of Tarzan film, and I must admit to being pretty disappointed by it. Most people will say this is better than Independence Day: Resurgence and they are right but so much of our enjoyment of a film goes down to our expectations. It’s not that I was expecting Tarzan to be great but I was expecting it to be a Tarzan movie. What do I mean by that? To me a Tarzan movie has a man raised by apes flying through the jungle swinging on vines and falling in love with Jane. With Independence Day: Resurgence I expected a dopey alien movie with destruction and that’s basically what I got. My expectations were not similarly satisfied by Legend of Tarzan.
In fact, we get probably under 5 minutes of Tarzan swinging on vines through the jungle and never once with Jane. In this version of the story he is buttoned up in stiff suits and colors until well into the movie and he is already married to Jane from the beginning. You get to see a little bit of how they met but never any romantic jaunts through the jungle. Is that too much to ask in my Tarzan movie?
Instead you get basically a jungle war film. There is a tribal leader played by Djimon Hounsou who has a grudge against Tarzan. . This particular leader guards valuable diamond mines that Christoph Waltz wants to get his hands on. He makes a deal to lure Tarzan to Hounsou for a trade of diamonds. Jane played by Margot Robbie insists on coming along with Tarzan and ends up getting abducted by Waltz.
Then Tarzan and Samuel L Jackson’s George Washington Williams’ character must save Jane. There are lots of battles, some of them quite violent. I wouldn’t recommend it to kids.
Alexander Skarsgard could make a good Tarzan but we literally don’t see him with his shirt off until about 30 minutes into the film and even it’s for purposes of conflict and war. There’s little to no joy or fun in the picture. Samuel Jackson gets a few laughs but that’s about it.
The movie does look nice and the cast has decent chemistry but it’s just not what you want in a Tarzan movie. And Christoph Waltz isn’t good as the evil Captain Leon Rom. He must be great in those Tarantino films because every movie I’ve seen him in he’s been very bad. He’s definitely the worst 2 time Oscar winner I’ve ever seen.
The special effects are amazing throughout and I didn’t hate it but it wastes a lot of potential. In a way it kind of reminds me of Man of Steel. That wasn’t my Superman movie and this isn’t my Tarza movie. I think it is going to be a big bomb for Warner Brothers and why on earth did they spend $180 million on a dark and gritty Tarzan movie? It makes no sense.
Overall Grade- C (on the video I gave it a C+ but I’ve changed my mind!)