The Legend of Tarzan

The Legend of Tarzan ★★½

Tarzan is arguably one of the most famous and beloved literary characters of all time and whether or grew up watching the Johnny Weissmuller movies or the terrific animated Disney adaptation, pretty much everyone knows of this true legend, even if not all film adaptations work out.

The man formerly known as Tarzan is now John Clayton III (Alexander Skarsgard) and living happily in Britain with his wife Jane (Margot Robbie) but when some poachers try to search for diamonds in his former domain of the Congo, he jumps at the chance to stop them and become the legend that he once was.

The story about Tarzan is a terrific one, often told beautifully by several filmmakers over the years, but this one was pretty dull. It wasn't "bad" per se, but it definitely could've been a lot better.

Alexander Skarsgard was pretty bland and not memorable as Tarzan, even if he looked the part. Margot Robbie was fine as Jane, as was Samuel L. Jackson who was probably the best part of the movie (I mean hello Sam Jackson is usually the best part of any movie), but a particular peeve I had with them, and not to sound sexist or racist, but the story took place in the late 1800s and for them, a woman and an African-American to have prominence in the story and be strong characters seemed off, especially with how history depicted them. Again not trying to seem bigoted. It was fine to give them prominence if this was a story set a little later in history, but in that period of time, it felt weird. And why oh why do they keep casting Christoph Waltz as the villain in everything? Yes he did it well in Inglorious Basterds, but honestly it gets kinda dull when he's cast as the villain in literally every movie. Not that he isn't a bad actor, I just kinda want a change from an actor that good. Fire your agent, man. And also even though he doesn't get a lot of scenes, the underrated Djimon Hounsou continues to shine.

The effects were okay, I don't know maybe Rise/Dawn of the Planet of the Apes have spoiled me on how amazing VFX on apes could look, but the effects in this movie seemed... off. Not necessarily "bad", just off.

In fact that's probably the best I can describe The Legend of Tarzan. Not bad just off. Fun in places, disappointing in others. A movie that can be enjoy in the right frame of mind, but as is, it's a weaker entry in the Tarzan film series. If you don't mind it, I'm sure you'll like this movie, but if you can't, I say stick to the Disney version or to the originally Weissmuller films.