Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The Legend of Tarzan

Tarzan has been in the public's consciousness for almost a century now. Originally written by Edgar Rice Burroughs, this character has had several film and television adaptations that are both comical and deep. How does this newest incarnation handle the story?

We find Tarzan and Jane already married for eight years and living in London. George Washington Williams tells him that he needs to return to the jungle in order to stop the slave trade. They agree, but in doing so, Jane is kidnapped and it's up to Tarzan and George to save her and his friends.

I actually do like Alexander Skarsgård as this character. We get a fresh look at this character and see his capacity to adapt in every situation. When we do get to the jungle, we see that his relationships with the natives and the animals are a little strained, but in the end we see how much they care for each other.

Jane Porter is similar to Lois Lane, in that most incarnations make her extremely annoying. Margot Robbie isn't annoying, but she could be better. The few times she and Tarzan are together, it's not perfect but it's enjoyable. However, most of the time she's away from him and is captured so we don't get to see their chemistry and her character fully developed. That being said, she does have some genuinely good ideas on how to outsmart the villain, so good points there.

George Washington Williams:
Samuel L. Jackson is the best part of this whole movie. He helps carry the film with both humor and depth, and manages to be an excellent partner. My minor complaint is that I think he really plays more of himself than the character, but that doesn't hurt the film and is far too entertaining to complain about.

It has been the tradition of all Tarzan movies, dating all the way back to Johnny Weissmuller, to make the mustachioed man the villain. Christoph Waltz carriers on this tradition, but he doesn't pull it off as well as you would think. Waltz plays it far too over the top and acts like he's in a cartoon. His motivation makes no sense and he has little chemistry with the other actors. His acting choices have confused me before, but it's far more apparent here.

Final Thoughts:
If you liked some previous versions of Tarzan, then you might like this adaptation. If you've never had anything to do with Tarzan before, you might be confused since there are quite a few things that are without context. Personally, I think it would've been best to do a straight up remake, instead of this pseudo-sequel that we have. Which was the same thing I thought when Burton made his Alice in Wonderland years ago. While the film is okay, I have seen better versions of Tarzan and that includes the Disney version. 

Next Time:
Star Trek Beyond.

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