by Diana Vaccarelli
*If you haven’t viewed this episode yet be warned this review may contain spoilers!*
For years Hollywood has been telling the story of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ immortal (literally, thanks to a shaman’s magic potion) Tarzan, and The Legend of Tarzan continues the tradition. Part sequel and part reboot, this version tells the story of a John Clayton aka Tarzan who has left the jungle and now is called back to investigate enslavement of the natives in the mines of the Congo.
- Alexander Skarsgard is brilliant as Tarzan. He is the legend himself. He looks right, moves right, sounds right, and, possibly most importantly, feels right. Skarsgard brings richness and care to the events that happen in the film. One instance is when his wife Jane (Margot Robbie) has been taken, we don’t just see Tarzan’s determination to save her from the clutches of the villain Leon Rom (Christoph Waltz), we feel it.
- The writing by Adam Cozad and Craig Brewer gives us a very un-Edgar Rice Burroughs story of imperialism and slavery that makes me wish the Master had had the wherewithal to tackle bigger issues in the books than finding jungle treasure. (I know the stories weren’t all about treasure and lost civilizations, but sometimes it surely feels that way.)
- The visual effects are horrible. The animals in this film are clearly CGI, and even the most naive member of the contemporary audience can see that. There are times when the visual effects rip you right out of the film. Considering the current state of the art, this is, to me, unforgivable.
- The performance of Samuel L. Jackson as George Washington Williams is laughable from start to finish. There is no need for his character in the script, and Jackson seems to be acknowledging that by just throwing his performance away.
If you’re looking for fun and adventure then this film could still be for you. But be warned: You might be better served by just re-watching the Disney version. At the very least, you should wait for the DVD release and save yourself some dollars.
Happy Summer Blockbuster Season!
Diana Vaccarelli is the TVWriter™ Critic-at-Large and, in case you haven’t noticed, a HUGE Outlander fan. Learn more about her HERE