Review by Leia Barret Durham Powell
Last night, my husband Martin and I boarded a bus-full of die-hard Edgar Rice Burroughs fans (ECOF 2016) to attend an advanced screening of Legend of Tarzan. These people know the Tarzan universe better than anyone on the planet, and can sometimes be the most nit-picky continuity group I’ve ever seen. That being said, as we exited that amazing theatre, there wasn’t a face in the crowd that wasn’t grinning from ear to ear.
John Burroughs, grandson of Edgar Rice Burroughs, reportedly had to wander the empty Warner Lot for a few minutes immediately after the movie to collect himself before gathering with the rest of us, because he was so emotionally affected by the joy of seeing his grandfather’s vision finally realized.
Linda Burroughs, wife of the late Danton Burroughs, chatted excitedly as we headed to the buses. She, who had attended the red carpet premiere the night before with daughters Jane and Dejah, couldn’t praise the film enough.
As the curtains opened David Yates delivered from second one with an atmospheric vista of the fog-enshrouded Congo, complete with a haunting tribal melody. Your hatred for Leon Rom is cemented as you see his treatment of the Congolese, and his disregard for their well-being as he and Belgian soldiers seek the diamonds of Opar through Chief Mbonga to pay his creditors for his loathsome plans. Mbonga, whose son was slain by Tarzan pre-Jane, only wants our heroes head in exchange.
We see John Clayton III (Tarzan) in a meeting with parliament officials as they practically drool with the possibility of joining King Leopold’s crusade through Leon Rom in the Congo. George Washington Williams, who is annoyingly cracking nuts during the meeting, sugarcoats his plan to involve Tarzan. After following him into the rain-soaked 19th century London streets, he explains why he’s really there and Tarzan reluctantly agrees.
As Tarzan breaks the news to Jane that he will have to return to Africa, she exuberantly begins packing as he tries to talk her out of it.
The dynamic between Alexander Skarsgård and Margot Robbie is absolutely incredible. You truly believe they are Tarzan and Jane from the start, and as we take their journey along with them, you find yourself heartbroken for the child they lost, weepy as he rejoins the small pride of lions he grew up with, and the emotional greeting a herd of elephants bestow. You will cry out as you see the death-defying feats of acrobatics through the trees with grim determination and not an ounce of fear, while your respect for Jane Clayton grows minute by minute as she tries to escape the hands of Rom.
But I don’t want to give it all away…
This is an absolutely amazing movie. Go see it as soon as possible!