The Legend of Tarzan (12A)

Nearly a decade has passed since Tarzan (Alexander Skarsgård) gave Africa the boot to move to England with his wife Jane (Margot Robbie).

Tarzan, also known as John Clayton III isn’t too fussed about returning to the jungle. But when he’s asked to help save the Congo from his treacherous enemy King Leopold, Tarzan abandons his stifling Victorian surroundings and sets off on an adventure.

But he isn’t alone; Jane and the rather outspoken George Washington Williams (Samuel L. Jackson) tag along for the ride too. Danger lurks on the horizon in the form of Leon Rom (Christoph Waltz). The villainous explorer has devised a plan to lure the famous couple back to the Congo.

If Rom delivers Tarzan to King Leopold he will be rewarded with countless amounts of uncut diamonds. The ruthless man will stop at nothing to get what he wants including capturing Jane and keeping her prisoner. She’s the perfect pawn for his devious plot.

Tarzan is forced to return to his old ways in order to save the women he loves and the Congo’s inhabitants from a life of slavery and violence.

Director David Yates’ reinterpretation of the Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle is a major disappointment. It’s more Downtown Abbey special than a rough and ready action movie.

The infamous sex scene that got so much press is so PG-13 it’s ridiculous. That story is perhaps the most interesting thing about the movie and even that got cut.

Yates carefully brought his vision to the four final Harry potter movies via another literally hero, but the approach to his new venture is haphazard. The CGI is uninspiring and the plotline is tedious. We’re talking Dawn of the Planet of the Apes level of ridiculousness. Samuel L. Jackson and Christoph Waltz bring their A-game as usual but it isn’t enough to save the day.

The gold-haired duo fails to muster any animal magnetism in The Legend of Tarzan. Our hero’s told: “You are Lord of the Apes, King of the Jungle. Tarzan. Tarzan.” But that doesn’t really ring true when he finally returns to the Congo. He just seems on a constant journey to rescue Jane from whatever scrape she’s got herself into this time.

Think Margot Robbie can’t make a bad movie? Think again. In a bid to not be a damsel in distress, she becomes the most irritating one of all time.

We don’t get to see much of Tarzan swinging through the trees either; instead we’re given angst-filled scenes and a plethora of flashbacks. Less whinging, more swinging I say. The Legend of Tarzan is like a lion with no bite.

By Ruth Walker
★★☆☆☆

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