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The Legend of Tarzan (2016) - Movie Review


The Legend of Tarzan is an action adventure film based on the iconic character, Tarzan. Not a huge fan or anything, but I have enjoyed the character and his tale in the Disney animated film when I was young. The other live versions, however, sucked. So I didn't really know what to expect from this film, but I was pleasantly surprised. 

The thing I liked the most was how they didn't just remade his origin story as the whole movie, but actually told a tale years later. That, from the get-go, hooked me in. Tarzan is settled in England, with Jane, but due to some events happening in his home, he has to go back. And while the story had its issues, it was decent enough that I wanted to see what will happen next. You do get some of the backstory via flashbacks, which were pretty good.

Alexander Skarsgard was a great casting choice as Tarzan. He felt like Tarzan, and he definitely, DEFINITELY looked the part. Margot Robbie as Jane was pretty good as well. She looked gorgeous and she was more than just a typical damsel in distress, which being a Tarzan film, you know it's a given she'd eventually get that role. The best character, however, for me was the one played by Samuel L Jackson. He was the main supporting character, and while his character, for the first half anyway, acted as the exposition tool to give info to the audience, he brought a good amount of energy and fun to the movie, considering most of the movie is serious and dramatic. Some of his scenes made me laugh out loud. Chirstoph Waltz played his usual calm collected villain self, and he worked for the movie. 

The movie is well shot for the most part. The beautiful Congo was gorgeous to look at. I also quite enjoyed the score. Some of the pieces were great. The movie had some great moments, especially for those who have seen the animated film. I literally got goosebumps when Tarzan finally did his famous yell, and was swinging across trees. Good stuff. 

The CGI work, where it really counted, was Okayish. Some of the action sequences had fakey feel to them and the animals, especially the Gorillas, didn't look that good. They weren't bad per say, but with movies like The Jungle Book and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes showing how good the CGI can get, most of the animals in the movie felt OK at best. I guess those movies have spoiled me. 

My main issue with this film was that it felt rushed at a lot of areas, especially the action sequences. Most of them kinda felt sloppy and lazy. Too many cuts, too many close ups, not giving you a good sense of the fights etc. There was also no proper build up a lot of the times, and things would just happen quickly, and then end. It really felt like the movie could have used 15-20 mins more to really straighten out everything for more impact. This also resulted in many characters getting little no development at all. Djimon Honsou, who is a great actor, was almost completely wasted. Would have loved some more depth and detail about him, his tribe and his relationship with Tarzan.
Also, it is a nitpick but there was very little of Tarzan swinging around. 

If you like this character, have seen some previous films etc, then you will probably have a good enough time with it. If this is your first time watching a Tarzan film, then you might not get into the story that much, but still I would recommend a try. I ultimately had a good time with it. 

7.8/10

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