MY review of Legend of Tarzan: I saw this movie last night by myself, and will be going again tonight. Tonight, I am taking family members with me, so they can get a tiny glimpse into why Dad is the 51 year old kid he is today, and why he has never stopped geeking out, collecting and reading all things related to Edgar Rice Burroughs long into middle age, with no intention of stopping. This movie did it, it put on screen the Tarzan (and Jane) that I envision, based on the books and in a way never done before. I hope they all understand at least a little, even if they don’t get Dads obsession, its a hell of a movie that I am certain they will enjoy!
The movie was not packed, about a 1/3 full, probably expected for an early screening, mostly older people, but some teenagers and some smaller children as well.
The movie, all though not perfect was about as close as I could have hoped for in portraying this character, and instilling the sense of wonder and excitement on the big screen, that we all sensed growing up reading the novels and the comics.
Yeah, some liberties were taken, some settings and time frames are not exactly as Burroughs wrote them, but that is expected somewhat in a movie that needs to appeal to a broader audience. The main thing, the most important thing, is it was obvious the Director, Producers writers and actors all were familiar with the ERB works enough to want to get this right, in respect to ERB, and all the fans who yearn for a really good Tarzan movie!
The movie does not start out quickly as far as action, and that is ok, because we are learning about the relationship between Tarzan and Jane, and why they are living in London, and not their birthplace Africa. We learn a lot about the depth of love these 2 share, and their commitment to each other, which sets the stage for what is to come. This is, a love story at heart ,and that is one of the reasons it works. Burroughs understood the need for romance to play a large part in his novels, and that is an aspect of this film that will be appreciated, and hopefully draw in a larger audience.
One of the most touching, and tender moments, is Lord Greystoke and Jane, in their quite moment in a tree on their London estate, just prior to returning to Africa.
Tarzan, is played almost perfectly by Skarsgard, quiet, reserved, intelligent, fierce, majestic, yet slightly vulnerable in his affection and devotion to his mate. Robbie, as Jane was amazing in this role, and a force to be reckoned with in dealing with enemies!
Of course, Samuel Jackson is always excellent, and here his character serves as the perfect impetus for 2016 audiences, to draw Tarzan back to his homeland. The scene in the coach, just after John is swayed by Williams to return, where John “chuffs” in anger upon hearing what is happening in his beloved AFRICA, was subtle, but moving.
Christopher Waltz, as Rom played the perfect bad guy (as usual) his relatively small physical presence belied a well honed dangerous ability with his small makeshift lasso, which he used to good effect.
We see in this film a gradual return to the greatness, the strength and prowess that we expect from Tarzan. He does not return to Africa 100% Tarzan, in strength and ability, but mid way through, and certainly towards the end, he becomes the nearly superhuman Tarzan that we all expected!
I do wonder, how Tarzan will be depicted, moving forward in future films(fingers crossed) as I’m sensing we wont see Tarzan Killing Beasts to the extent he did in the novels by way of his fathers Knife. I’m not certain audiences these days want, or will accept a Tarzan that so easily and readily kills as he did in the books to protect others.
Most people these days I’m thinking would not connect with someone killing such majestic creatures as Lions, Tigers, Gorillas etc.
That blade, that “Long tooth” was what gave Tarzan the edge, against far stronger creatures. Tarzan battling his brother upon his return to Africa, it was very evident, that even with all of Tarzans great strength, and intellect, physically he was no match, he needed that knife.
I’m really interested in hearing others thoughts on this point in particular.
Finally, huge Kudos to Skarsgard, in playing this role. He completely made me believe in the character, amazing performance!!!
I give this movie, a 9 out 10