Wednesday, 20 July 2016

The Legend of Tarzan (Film)

As someone who read all the Tarzan books when young, and was a member of the Tarzan Club (yes, it did exist), any new take on him is obligatory viewing. The critics have not been impressed but audience satisfaction at Rotten Tomatoes is higher.


As I've already said, I start off biased, and found the film to be enjoyable enough. After a plot-setting beginning, we move to London where Lord Greystoke (Tarzan) has been accepted back in society after coming out of the jungle. He is asked to return to Africa as a representative of the British government to meet an envoy of King Leopold II of the Belgians, the said envoy being the dastardly Léon Rom who has set the whole thing up to capture Tarzan. The plot setting at the beginning explains why.

Tarzan, however, expects foul play and leaves the ship early making his way overland to meet friendly natives. Unfortunately Rom and his mercenaries anticipate Tarzan's plan and make their way to the village, where Tarzan evades capture, but sees his Jane taken away. Thus the plot is set for a Tarzan saves Jane adventure.

There's a lot of the usual fare, fighting great apes and swinging through trees, all very realistic with GGI. In fact the CGI was criticised in some reviews, but having endured the total annihilation of American and other world cities so may times in the recent spate of disaster movies I think we can forgive Tarzan a bit of less than perfect CGI. I'll accept that the final sequence was probably a bit over the top, but cinema audiences seem to like 'big' events. The first half of the film was more constrained, and for me was more in keeping with my idea of a Tarzan adventure.

I'll always watch Tarzan, so am probably not the best person to critically review this film. I enjoyed it, as I was prepared to overlook imperfections and concentrate on what was done well. Alexander Skarsgård was a very acceptable Tarzan, while Margot Robbie was a better Jane than I perhaps expected. Samuel L. Jackson as the American who convinced Tarzan to return to Africa, and who was at first a bit of a thorn in Tarzan's side, came good in the end, but one has to ask whether his character was absolutely necessary. Probably a matter of a big name to satisfy the box office.

If you're a Tarzan fan, go watch it.








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