It has been years since the man once known as Tarzan (Alexander Skarsgård) left the jungles of Africa behind for a gentrified life as John Clayton III, Lord Greystoke, with his beloved wife, Jane (Margot Robbie) at his side. Now, he has been invited back to the Congo to serve as a trade emissary of Parliament, unaware that he is a pawn in a deadly convergence of greed and revenge, masterminded by the Belgian, Captain Leon Rom (Christoph Waltz). But those behind the murderous plot have no idea what they are about to unleash.
What We Thought:
I can’t say The Legend of Tarzan is disappointing because I didn’t have very high expectations for it in the first place. Nothing about the trailers made it seem all that interesting. It looked just like the latest Hollywood CGI-fest.
Unfortunately, that’s all it is. There are scenes of pure CGI and nothing else. At one point, what seems to be a thousand yaks run through a camp area full of the “bad” guys. They thrash buildings and knock over men. Nothing about it is real and you know you are watching fake special effects. Same for every animal and every time Tarzan and others run/swing through the jungle.
Although the CGI isn’t the film’s only issue. It feels incomplete or at least choppy. It’s not your typical origin story. Most of the time Alexander Skarsgard is playing John Clayton III and is only Tarzan in flashbacks. They use flashbacks to tell his origin story, how he was raised in the jungle, met Jane and so on. Even when he returns to Africa it is as John Clayton III. He somewhat reverts to his Tarzan ways to rescue Jane, but even then he’s called John most of the time. For a Tarzan film, they seemed to forget to put Tarzan in it.
I also wasn’t expecting it to be a Buddy Road Trip Comedy. Skarsgard’s Clayton is the straight man with Samuel L. Jackson as the comedic relief. Samuel L. Jackson plays Samuel L. Jackson and doesn’t even attempt to use an accent, different dialect or anything different than his 2016 personality. The film takes place in the late 1800’s mind you. Jackson does all kinds of facial expressions and has one liners about licking nuts etc. The comedic relief at least made me laugh at times, but it was totally out of place for a late 19th century story.
And as much as I love Christoph Waltz, he’s pretty much just playing Christoph Waltz playing a bad guy. It’s the same character we saw in Spectre and is a PG-13, toned down version of his character in Django Unchained. I’m not saying he mailed in his performance, he’s too good of an actor to do that, but he can definitely do this character in his sleep.
Margot Robbie is also in it as Jane. But the fact that I’ve taken this long to even mention the beautiful actress should tell you something. She’s fine in it, but nothing about her character stands out either. Just a dud of a movie.
I’ve heard rumors of The Legend of Tarzan‘s budget being well above $100 million. If not closer to double that. They spent a lot on CGI and hiring the biggest dudes on the planet, but then wasted that by not using those big guys in fight scenes. It seems like the film was handed over to someone else to finish because the tone seemed to change throughout the film. The ending seemed rush and Tarzan himself was underused. If the rumors of that budget are true, the movie will be a big flop here in the States. They’ll need a big international push to break even. Because of the lackluster result, the film is…
NOT WORTH YOUR TIME!
Cast & Crew:
- Alexander Skarsgard
- Christoph Waltz
- Margot Robbie
- Samuel L. Jackson
Recommended If You Like:
- Tarzan films
- Funny Samuel L. Jackson
It’s such a shame they went overboard on the CGI here. I’ll still be checking this one out but I also don’t have high expectations, if any at all haha. The cast and the scenery looks nice though. I’m expecting to see an average blockbuster with an ok storyline, and hey, sometimes that’s all you need right haha? Nice review, are you currently sharing your work on any other movie/tv platforms?
I’ve been with other sites the past 6 years but this is my own now. Thanks for reading!