Saturday, February 25, 2017

The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

The Legend of Tarzan (2016)
Buy The Legend of Tarzan on Amazon Video
Written by: Adam Cozad and Craig Brewer (screenplay), Craig Brewer and Adam Cozad (story by), Edgar Rice Burroughs
Directed by: David Yates
Starring:  Alexander Skarsgård, Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson, Margot Robbie
Rated: PG-13

My rating is simple, Watch It, It Depends, Skip it. Read my previous movie reviews!

Tarzan returns to the jungle to stop a group of miners, after having learned to live comfortably in London.

Surprisingly, this is quite enjoyable. It's a nice twist on the source, though it becomes a bit of a popcorn movie. That isn't always a bad thing. The first half does a good job of developing Tarzan, and while the last half becomes completely formulaic it still remains fun.
Watch it.

I'm glad this isn't another retelling of a feral man found in the jungle. We've heard this tale too many times for a straight re-telling. This opens with Tarzan, preferred to be called John, wanting to leave the legend behind. The first half of this movie was the best as it developed the character and then had him go back and become Tarzan again. The second half hits a lot of classical story beats with the damsel in distress, enemies becoming allies, the big bad guy, and a fateful end.

It's an easy, fun movie that offers a lot to enjoy. The first scene creates a great mood with soldiers journeying into the misty jungle of the Congo. They've walked into a trap set by aboriginal warriors. Of course this is part of the reason Tarzan must return. He's tried to abandon that part of his life, but he can't escape it. It's a neat moment after he returns when he gets down on all fours and greets wild cats he grew up with.
The CGI looks great, from the vistas to the animals.

This has a fair amount of flashbacks that seem present to appease those that want the original story. It provides some amount of insight, and if the original story wasn't so prevalent in culture, I probably wouldn't mind as much.

The second half becomes stale. While this originally felt somewhat grounded, Tarzan defies physics as he jumps through the trees. His character development is shelved so that he can save Jane (Margot Robbie) from the mustache twirling villain played by Christoph Waltz.

It's an epic movie with great moments in the flashbacks and present setting, but it becomes too formulaic in the last half.

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