Movie Review - Jackie K Cooper
"The Legend of Tarzan" (Warner Brothers)
If you enjoyed the new version of "The Jungle Book" then you should enjoy "The Legend of Tarzan." Both films feature amazing computer generated animals, the dank, dark jungle as the primary locale, and a hero who could be the jungle boy grown to manhood. Alexander Skarsgard makes a totally believable Tarzan and Margot Robbie is perfectly cast as his wife Jane. Throw in a deadly villain played by Christoph Waltz and you have everything a film of this type needs.
The movie takes place in the late 1800's when King Leopold of Belgium is trying to rob the wealth of the Belgium Congo and enslave its people. John Clayton AKA Tarzan is living in London. Although he was raised by apes in Africa he is now well spoken and civilized. He has married his childhood friend Jane and they appear to be quite happy.
When he hears what is happening in the Congo he is persuaded to go back and try to help the people there. He takes Dr. George Williams (Samuel L. Jackson) with him to gather proof of the atrocities that are occurring. He tries to get Jane to stay at home but she insists on going with him too. When they reach Africa their new adventure begins.
The African scenery is beautiful and Tarzan seems quite at home in the wild. He also has some marvelous interaction with a variety of species in the jungle that reflects on how he was raised amongst them. From time to time we hear the famous Tarzan roar but he always makes this yell off screen. Skarsgaard is a different type of Tarzan in that he plays him as being more inside his head.
Robbie is the delight of the film. Jane is kidnapped by Rom (Waltz) and so she is constantly under his control. The ways in which she fights back against him are fun to watch. Jane is still waiting for Tarzan to rescue her but she gets in a few kicks against Rom in the meantime.
Waltz almost chews up the scenery in order to get his evilness verified. Even though it is an over the top performance it is part of the grand family entertainment the film provides. There is a scene at the end of the movie when a bad guy goes up against some crocodiles. It was like a scene straight out of "Peter Pan".
The film is rated PG-13 for profanity and violence.
We have had a lot of sequels this summer. This is a continuation of a series that is justified. The last "Tarzan" film we had was a cartoon. It is time to see a real man again in this role, and Skarsgard does come off as a real man. Plus he brings along some real chemistry with Robbie. You can say Tarzan and Jane's relationship has definite animal magnetism.
I scored "The Legend of Tarzan"" a vine swinging 6 out of 10.
Jackie K Cooper