Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Movie review: The Legend of Tarzan

Years after his retreat to London from the jungle, Lord Greystoke is returning to Africa as a trade emissary to investigate inhumane treatment at a mining camp. In reality, Tarzan is being used as a political pawn to further a scheme by Capt. Rom.

Alexander Skarsgard (John/Tarzan), Rory Saper (teen Tarzan), Christian Stevens (young Tarzan), Christoph Waltz (Rom), Samuel L. Jackson (George), Margot Robbie (Jane), Sidney Ralitsoele (Wasimbu), Osy Ikhile (Kwete).

The Legend of Tarzan begins with some brief history and plot setup to get us all on the same page with the film. The movie then spends a few minutes on character introductions before launching smoothly into the main plot. The rest of the film is a journey of action, adventure, and drama as Tarzan realizes he is being used for political purposes in a film that deviates from the original theme a fair amount. It was nice to see Tarzan as more articulate and cultured, but disappointing he didn't feel like the superhero presented in past recollections of the legend.

Acting was pretty good with Skarsgard doing a nice job portraying Tarzan. Robbie did well as Jane and seemed to have good chemistry with Skarsgard. Jackson was solid as always, though his action scenes felt a bit unrealistic. Waltz did well as antagonist, displaying a good range of emotions and skill. The remainder of the cast was solid and enjoyable.

Camera work, sets, and backgrounds were good but make no mistake, there is a lot of CGI in this one. While most is well done there are a few scenes that were obviously, extensively CGI. Dialogue was decent despite some difficult accents. Sound and soundtrack are good.

Overall The Legend of Tarzan, while maybe not quite consistent with the original story, feels like a nicely done extension but with less aim toward preen viewers. This film feels geared more toward older teens and adults, but doesn't quite develop the energy or depth to connect with that audience.

With a fair amount of violence, disturbing images and settings, and some foul language, this one should be fine for teens and above.

Released: 2016
Reviewed: 2.13.17
Star rating: 3 out of 5
Genre: Action & Adventure, Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy Action & Adventure

copyright ©2017 Dave Riedel

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