The Legend of Tarzan Review

Director: David Yates

Starring: Alexander Skarsgård, Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson, Margot Robbie, 

The Overview

Tarzan (Skarsgård), having acclimated to life in London, is called back to his former home in the jungle to investigate the activities at a mining encampment.

The Good 

Now this film isn’t getting the best reviews at the moment, so I went in with very low expectations, and, well it wasn’t as bad as I anticipated. 

There’s moments which are really visually striking, and in the opening scene in particular, the cinematography is gorgeous. The fight scenes and action scenes in particular are really well shot, choreographed and visually compelling. It’s in these moments that the film is at it’s best, and where the use of CGI isn’t so evident. 

The cast are, on the whole, pretty solid. Christoph Waltz may have to live with the fact he’s always going to be typecast as the villain, because he’s just so damn good at it! The character is a little one-dimensional, but Waltz plays it very well. Margot Robbie is charming as Jane, feisty and far from a damsel in distress! The highlight for me was Samuel L. Jackson, providing some much needed comic relief in an otherwise pretty drab script. Skarsgård is a little wooden, but I guess the character is supposed to be like this, so I didn’t take issue with it, and he certainly looks the part!

Whilst visually it’s very compelling with some good performances, it is unfortunately let down by a couple of areas…

The Bad

The plot, that there is to speak of, plods along at a positively glacial pace, and whilst interspersed with some great action scenes, there’s a long middle portion of nothingness where I found my interest really wavering. 

Whilst the performances are fine, the script is really shoddy, and it comes across as there being too much focus on how it looks, and very little effort put into the content. 

When something looks pretty and has enough very dynamic action scenes, it is trickier to see the bad points, and there’s many who will be able to look past the flaws in the plot and the half-hearted script. 

One thing I couldn’t look past however was the massive overuse of CGI, and yes CGI is needed in certain scenes, but does it need to be so glaringly obvious?! Where the new Planet of the Apes movies have pioneered incredible motion capture and unbelievably realistic primates, The Legend of Tarzan feels like a massive step backwards, which took me out of a lot of the scenes involving the interactions between Tarzan and his ape family. 

Fair warning as well, if you took kids to see The Jungle Book and they were scared, this will not be suitable for them! It’s a 12a for a reason and a far cry from Disney!

The Verdict 

I saw this movie so you don’t have to. I was a little torn with the verdict for this one, but feel fairly happy I’ve made the right decision! On the on hand, it’s a mostly enjoyable popcorn action flick, but it suffers from the “one watch syndrome”. It’s passable for a first watch, but in no way life-altering, and an easy one to skip at the cinema and wait to see at home. Far from legendary! 

Agree with everything I’ve said, or am I a totally misguided idiot who has got it all wrong? Let me know in the comments below! 

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One comment

  1. It’s good to see a review that isn’t overly bad. I don’t particularly like the casting for Tarzan (Jason Mamoa would’ve been awesome), but Christoph is great in most of his roles, so I’d still give this film a chance!

    Like

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