‘Its based on a much-loved tale but alas it doesn’t quite hit the mark’
David Yates directed four of the Harry Potter movies as well as the forthcoming Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. He takes a break from the world of wizardry and delves into the forests to directs Alexander Skarsgård (Tarzan) in The Legend of Tarazan.
Our story begins with Tarzan living in London with Jane (it actually feels weird typing that sentence). Living in the Greystoke manor its been years since he traded in his loin cloth and swinging on ropes for suits and more civilised pursuits. An invite is extended to Tarzan aka John Clayton to travel to the Belgian Congo to see how things in the colony are progressing. Reluctant to accept he is subsequently persuaded by George Washington William (Samuel L. Jackson) who wants to investigate rumors of slave trading. Jane (Margot Robbie) of course insists on going with him and so they set off on their adventure.
Naturally of course not everything goes to plan and Tarzan has not one but two nemesis to contend with. First up is Leon Rom (Christoph Waltz) who is supposed to be working for the Belgian King but is actually enslaving the locals, burns down the village where Tarzan and Jane lived and kidnaps Jane. The second is Chief Mbonga (Dijmon Hounsou) who has agreed to provide Leon with access to diamonds in exchange for delivering Tarzan to him.
While all that is going on we are getting snippets of Tarzans origin story as such and he spends a bit of time reconnecting with his ape family who will of course come in handy later in the movie when its man versus the animal kingdom. The movie is all a bit confused in what story it’s telling and seems to rely on close-ups of Tarzan looking like a muscular dream to distract our attention. To be fair, that was probably the best part.
The Legend of Tarazan is an epic blockbuster by all accounts. The sets are incredible and despite many complaining about it, the CGi was pretty good. It has a great cast but their talent is more than a little wasted. Christoph Waltz plays his usual baddie self, Margot Robbie looks pretty in white and occasionally gets wet, Samuel L. Jackson adds a touch of humour to proceedings and Alexander Skarsgård does what he does best, looks good with his shirt off. Its based on a much-loved tale but alas it doesn’t quite hit the mark. I’m giving it 2 out of 5.