Hot Take: So The Legend of Tarzan wasn’t that bad BUT did we really need another Tarzan story???
Here’s a challenge: Watch The Legend of Tarzan, wait 3 months and try to recall the movie. My guess is you won’t remember anything about it. Here it is about 14 hours since viewing the umpteenth reboot of the Tarzan tale and I can’t remember anything more than a few parts featuring Samuel L. Jackson who plays George Washington Williams.
If 2016 has proven anything, Hollywood is definitely going green. They’ve recycled, rebooted, rehashed or remade movies at a seemingly record pace. It’s hard to argue against it though. Despite poor reviews and what seemed like very little excitement, The Legend of Tarzan had a big opening weekend. So, who are we to say these are unnecessary?
Anyway, back to the movie. There really isn’t much to say. Alexander Skarsgard and his chiseled physique make for an impressive looking Tarzan. It’s not far removed from his True Blood days with the exception of less dialog and more grunting and a few Tarzan calls. Margot Robbie is equally pleasing to the eye as Jane. Her confidence in her jungle man makes a flimsy plot at least a little bit more believable. Christoph Waltz is the bad guy and he’s the typical Christoph Waltz bad guy. Samuel L. Jackson is the good guy sidekick to Tarzan and he’s a whole lot of what you’d expect from Samuel L. Jackson. Of the best moments in the film, Jackson accounts for about 80% of them.
It probably doesn’t help The Legend of Tarzan being released so close to The Jungle Book. As I sit here writing the review, the two movies are mashing together in my head to the point where I’m wondering how Jackson’s George Washington Williams would react to running into a few actual talking animals. Has anyone ever considered a Tarzan Meets Mowgli movie? Let’s not give Hollywood any ideas. There’s plenty of old ones they can just roll out every couple of years. Let’s hope it’s more than a couple before the next Tarzan.
“Spoiler Free” Pros
Samuel L. Jackson is the best part of The Legend of Tarzan. He has a couple of laugh out loud one liners and makes for a fun sidekick who struggles to keep up with Tarzan as he runs, swings and cliffdives through the jungle.
- Visually Impressive
The only reason The Legend of Tarzan loses a few points is because it has to compete with the utterly stunning images of The Jungle Book from earlier this year. Like The Jungle Book, the CGI is so seamless, it’s easy to buy into the legend even if the story is paper thin.
“Spoiler Free” Cons
- Waltz Needs Some New Steps
Christoph Waltz burst onto the scene in 2009’s Inglorious Basterds. He followed that with an incredible performance in Django Unchained. He won an Academy Award for both. Since then, his roles have devolved into typecasting hell. Waltz is more than a one trick pony but his resume would make you think otherwise as it fills up with similar roles.
- Can We All Agree We Don’t Need Another Tarzan Tale?