The past few years have seen the return, reboots, re-makes and spin-offs of some classic oldies from Ghostbusters, to Jurassic Park and now we have The Legend of Tarzan, directed by David Yates starring Alexander Skarsgard, Margot Robbie, Samuel L Jackson and Christoph Waltz.
More than anything, Legend of Tarzan just strikes me as an odd film, a film no one really wanted, for an IP that most people had forgotten about, the concept behind Tarzan is cool and all but I just don’t really get his appeal to modern audiences and therein lies the problem with this iteration, it just felt a bit direction less to me and without any real purpose behind it. If you wanted a Tarzan origin story, this isn’t it, if you wanted a story looking at the colonial greed and war in the Congo, this isn’t it, the story tries to mash a few themes and ideas together but it just doesn’t quite work. The result being a very loosely structured plot that feels a tad too long and feels a bit too action-ey, the core love story between Tarzan and Jane, with them being so mis-matched personality wise and with them being in the jungle is what made the original story so interesting and fun, but throw in gritty ‘realism’ and have it look like a John Wu action film and it’s pretty forgettable. Not to mention there being a laughable final act that’s something right out of a Roadrunner cartoon.
I just think the story missed a trick here, wanting to take a different route to the Tarzan mythos of the wild man who clashes with civilization, the traditional origin story would have been fine, the cast was there and it could have woked but I just don’t get what the writers/director was going for here.
In terms of the aspects of the film that are somewhat positive, the casting is great, Skarsgard is a brilliant and believable aristocrat Tarzan with a bit of a wild man in him, while Robbie is great as Jane, there aren’t too many other star names here but Samuel L Jackson brings some nice levity and is good as he tends to be, while Djimon Honsou and Waltz bring some gravitas, albeit to wasted, one note characters. The visuals are…. passable, the CG is fairly obviously CG and looks pretty bad in some places, although a few action scenes are Okay, though that’s probably not why you wanted to watch the film – if you wanted to watch it at all. But yeah, there honestly isn’t that much to say about the film either positive or negative.
The Legend of Tarzan, although having some nice visuals and some good casting is a forgettable film and a missed opportunity to update a classic 20th century story, albeit a story most people have now forgotten and or haven’t even heard of, the question I find myself asking after watching it is, why?
. Confusing, scatter brained plot with no real weight to it
. One note, cliché characters
. Good casting choices