The Legend of Tarzan Review
Director: David Yates
David Yates going from TV to Harry Potter to this, which reminds me of Peter Jackson doing Lord of The Rings and then following with King Kong rebooting a classic story. However, this is far superior to King Kong on some many levels, especially being based on Edgar Rice Burroughs' Dark Horse Comic version of Tarzan. Being set in late Victorian times, it shares some awful truth on the atrocities the Congolese people suffered under the power of King Leopold II of Belgium, which includes the millions that died and were used for slavery.
Making a film like this has a high risk of seriously going over the top and must have been a challenge to balance believability and a far fetched story. I feel they succeeded in bringing a new reality to Tarzan, personifying the animals extremely well without it going too far. Seeing all these viral videos about animal and human relationships, this film does make you think if it is possible for man to be respected that much within the animal kingdom.
Stellan Skarsgård must be proud of the his son Alexander, portraying the title role which happens to be Stellan's hero and the reason Alexander eagerly took the role. I believe he was ideal for Tarzan, adopting the posture, right build and the graceful movement you would expect from a tree-swinger; it can't be easy to make a hulking man of 6ft 4" move so elegantly.
I was a little worried about Samuel L. Jackson being in this movie, especially him being mostly absent from the trailers. But, he does good and the little comedy he brings isn't silly enough to stain the seriousness of the film. Christoph Waltz does what you would expect and plays the villain envoy, Leon Rom so well I actually believe he wants to be hated in real life.
Margot Robbie plays Jane but not necessarily the damsel in distress some might expect. She's tough, knows her way around the jungle and is just as devoted to Tarzan's adopted family. It's a shame Djimon Hounson didn't get a bigger part, seeing what he's capable of in Blood Diamond he falls short or maybe easily overshadowed by Tarzan.
The action is swift and brutal showing Tarzan's ability of being a human hero, having impressive physical strength and agility, he's the superhero without all the super, just natural, primitive aggression cased into a civilised nobleman. You're left in awe and at times you see the cast like Jackson, Waltz and Robbie looking stunned, they could almost be bloopers.
Though being digitally stunning, there are some weak spots but what is breathtaking is the landscape scenery. Crews spent days filming over the Gabon National Park to capture the true beauty of the African continent and it really shows through, for which I'm glad for it not being all computer generated.
There's plenty of out-of-focus close-ups during the dreamy flashbacks which add a welcome artiness to the film. It's beautifully shot and highly atmospheric especially adding the score of Harry's younger brother, Rupert Gregson-Williams which has become one of my favourite soundtracks of the year so far creating an authentic, tension-building and enchanting score. Great song from Hozier too, "Better Love" being the end credits track.
I enjoyed this far more then expected, and I was expecting something from watching the trailers. It looks good in the trailers and it certainly entertained me.
Sadly this marks Jerry Weintraub's last film being dedicated to him. The producer who cameoed in all three Ocean's reboot as Danny Shields, Danny Ocean's Highroller friend who, on top of Ocean's 11, 12 and 13, produced all the Karate Kids among so much more.
Running Time: 8
The Cast: 9
Job Description: 9
The Extra Bonus Point: 10 for the stunning real landscapes, beautiful scenery and for making me feel proud to be an animal lover.