Film · Reviews

The Legend of Tarzan (2016) Film Review | 100 Day Film Challenge – Day 3

I mainly watched this because of Alexander Skarsgård , I’ll admit. I pleasantly ended up enjoying my time with The Legend of Tarzan, thankfully. Does it have its problems? Yes, but it’s not as horrible as many critics made it out to be.

The Legend of Tarzan is centered on the life of John Clayton III (aka Tarzan). He’s taken up residence in England at Manor Greystoke and has married the love of his life, Jane Porter, née Clayton (played by Margot Robbie). After being summoned by King Leopold Rom (Christoph Waltz) and encouraged by George Washington Williams (Samuel L. Jackson) to accept his invitation, he returns to the African Congo where he was raised, with Jane steadfastly by his side. Unfortunately, things take a sinister turn and Tarzan must embrace his wild side and fight for what (and who) he loves.

Alexander Skarsgård is a beautiful Tarzan (both physically and artistically). Yes, his British accent is spotty, but he portrays a man who wrestles with his aristocratic status and wild nature. He’s utterly devoted to Jane, who is portrayed magnificently by Robbie. She’s strong-willed and resourceful, and stands her ground. Plus, their chemistry is incredible and they believably sell this couple. You can practically feel Samuel L. Jackson having tremendous fun with his character, and he manages to steal the scenes he’s in. Christoph Waltz underplays his villainous Rom, unfortunately. Usually so good as the villain in his previous films, King Rom felt like a dog who barks but summons other dogs to do his dirty work for him. Djimon Hounsou was also thrown in as a second villain, but again, he felt inconsequential and more like a way to pad out the film.

This movie is stunningly gorgeous, with beautiful visual effects. I was constantly in awe of the world I was watching on screen, and could practically feel the sun baking my skin in the Congo and the water soaking through my clothes as the rain poured.

The story is simple, but is serviceable. The frequent flashbacks are both a help and hindrance to the film, though. They flesh out Tarzan’s origins but also take the focus away from the base story.

This is a fun, beautiful film, yet flawed film with pretty good acting (spotty accents and underutilized villains notwithstanding) and incredible visual effects. I had fun watching The Legend of Tarzan, and even though it’s not perfect, I recommend it if you’re a fan of the story of Tarzan.

Verdict: 3.5/5

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