THE LEGEND OF TARZAN (2016), A Fan's Dream

The Legend of Tarzan stars Alexander Skarsgård, Christoph Waltz, Margot Robbie and Samuel (What isn't he in) Jackson.

Tarzan (Skarsgard), having acclimated to life in London, is asked / invited by the Belgian King, Leopold, to go to Africa to see what he has done there to help the country. Initially, Clayton refuses, but an American, George Washington Williams (Jackson), wants him to accept so he can accompany him. He says that Leopold might be committing atrocities to achieve his goal, like slavery. Clayton agrees and his wife, Jane (Robbie) insists that she accompany him because she misses Africa.

The film is directed by David Yates (Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts franchise films, both past and upcoming films).

Waltz plays the face of evil slavers rather exquisitely, while Robbie plays a brave,ballsy and daring Jane. Jackson plays a character who doesn't drop a mother f-bomb every few minutes, which is weird to see him (not) do. But I like his character.


Refreshingly, The Legend of Tarzan IS NOT an origins film, but they do have origin flashbacks that are done well throughout that Tarzan fans may appreciate. Yates doesn't go into time-consuming detail but there's enough there in the flashbacks for franchise fans to instantly recognize and enjoy.

Yates did his homework and it shows.

It takes over an hour of the film to get John Clayton to get into full Tarzan mode,and that was refreshing.

Throughout the film, it felt like a story ripped right out of one of the Tarzan series novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs that the hard-core fans have already read. There are so many subtle moments and details not explained for the sake of explaining to the standard movie fan, but core fans will catch instantly.

For any franchise fan, you will also recognize and enjoy the many moments that may confuse the general movie-goer, from Tarzan meeting old animal friends of the wild, to getting his ass kicked by a great ape, just to say 'Hello, I'm back in the jungle.'  Any real fan will also catch that tiny knuckle nudge in Tarzan's ribs after the fight, in the ape saying, 'hey.'

Yea, I think this was one of the better done Tarzan films of late, even if there are some nuances that might bug the hard-core fan.

This Tarzan doesn't want to kill every living thing in the jungle, but does seem to have the ability to rally the denizens of the jungle to his aid when needed, much like the character did in the Saturday morning cartoons (back in the day).

We only hear the 'Tarzan call' once in the film, and it was almost akin to that of a background sound rather than the focus of the moment.

The issues with the film could be either considered glaring or just, well, one of those things.

When the cannibal chief speaks perfect English, I'll just assume the film is in auto-translation mode.

About those CGI animals in the film. Yea, they weren't perfect, but 'close enough for government work!' Despite some of the CGI being considered cheesy, the story is strong enough to not have the CGI detract from the film. Unless you like finding fault in everything you do, then, well, have at.

Though in one scene, where we see a herd of hippos in the water, and that one hippo that charges at the boat, was done extremely well!  (Did you know hippos kill more people than any other animal on Earth?) And that charge scene was pretty accurate looking.


This film makes any Tarzan fan want a sequel but I suspect it did not make enough money at the domestic box office but did double its budget overseas, but was it enough to warrant a second film? The creative team were spinning the news of a sequel even before the film hit the box office, which seems pretty premature, and there is no recent news or rumors about a sequel to the film as it is today.

So we'll have to be happy with this latest rendition of Tarzan.

The IMDb score for the film is 6.2/10, but I liked how Yates stuck to the source material and made a great franchise movie.

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