By Christian DiMartino
The Legend of Tarzan is a film that is easy to watch while you’re watching it, but yet when you think about it as a whole, it falls apart. It’s a shame too. It works in stretches, but yet too much of it doesn’t. It’s something of a missed opportunity.
Granted, some probably assumed this was gonna be a bomb. But I just assumed it’d be good because of its awesome cast. Basically, if you give me Christoph Waltz in any movie, assume I’ll be there. But even his casting feels too easy.
One thing that works is that this is not a Tarzan that we know. Well actually there’s two sides to that statement, and the other doesn’t work. Here he’s played by Alexander Skarsgaard, who thankfully doesn’t make this look goofy. He’s not going by Tarzan when we first see him though. He’s going by John, though everyone knows who he is. He’s married to Jane (Margot Robbie), but they have no children (they lost a child, but his whereabouts are unknown… Okay that joke wasn’t funny sorry).
He’s soon asked by George Washington Wilson (Samuel L. Jackson, mostly used as comic relief) to do… Something. I honestly don’t remember. But soon George, John, Paul and Ringo… I mean, Jane, set off to Johns homeland. But they soon learn that an evil captain, Captain Brom (Waltz) is out to capture Tarzan. Why? Something to do with diamonds, and the carrier of the diamonds just so happens to want Tarzan’s blood.
Now I said that this is a Tarzan we didn’t know, and I meant that, but in different ways. Not only in terms of character but in terms of strength. I feel like everyone involved here must’ve thought, “He swings from branch to branch, let’s just make him Spider-Man.” And that’s just what they’ve done. I don’t remember him being able to do the things he does here, but okay.
Which makes the climax completely ridiculous. Here we have this vine swinging, ape fighting, wild man. And yet near the end, Waltz wraps a necklace around his throat, chokes him, then ties it to a rail… And this holds him back. Are you kidding? He can live through an explosion, but a necklace holds him back? Hmm.
Considering what the cast has to do, they’re pretty good. There’s also moments of cool. But yet, surprisingly, one of the weaknesses here is the visual effects. There’s times when they look great. At other times, you know damn well it’s fake. It’s 2016 people, get with it. The Jungle Book did it. You can too.
There’s also too many flashback sequences. We pretty much have an idea as to how Tarzan became what he became, and how Jane and him met. We don’t need to see it again. There’s also just too many slow motion shots. And there’s really just a lot of questionable material here.
The Legend of Tarzan might’ve worked had it not been so ridiculous. A Tarzan movie, ridiculous? Who knew? Truth be told though, it’s all missing one thing in particular: Phil Collins.