The Legend of Tarzan is a new adaptation of a well-known and well-loved story. A great cast! A great director! So is this new take on the story any good?The movie opens with Tarzan (Alexander Skarsgård) now living in civilization away from the jungle, having married Jane (Margot Robbie) and joined the English society. Meanwhile, back in the jungle, we meet evil guy, Leon Rom (Christoph Waltz, naturally), who has discovered diamonds and wants said diamonds for his greedy self. With Tarzan sipping tea, the only person standing in between Rom and the diamonds is the jungle tribe leader (Djimon Hounsou), who’s not exactly a fan of the MIA King of the Jungle. Rom wants to give up Tarzan in exchange for the diamonds, and his master plan involves luring Tarzan back to the jungle under false pretenses, with Jane and companion George Washington Williams (Samuel L Jackson) in tow. Cue fight scenes!Director David Yates, who also directed the final four Harry Potter movies, did a good job of keeping me engaged for the majority of the time. The fight scenes (between both humans and animals) were solid, and the action scenes in the Congo were a pretty epic standout. Sometimes I get bored during extended action scenes, but these held my attention more than most. My main issue was that the story felt very basic, and didn’t really come to a conclusion that you care about because the ending felt rushed. It was also a CGI party in there – the classic noticeable floating leaves in the air to make the jungle seem real kinda thing. The heavy-handed CGI felt more like a video game to me, rather than a movie, so it took me out of the story a bit. The CGI animals were also a let down. It would be more impressive with real animals, or at least a combination of real and CG.Don’t get me wrong, there were definitely elements I enjoyed. The vine swinging and characters running along tree branches was great. Fake or not, this was visually so cool – doesn’t everyone want to be able to run along tree branches to get from place to place? The film is well cast, and they all gave good performances, they’re just let down by an under-cooked story. Waltz in particular does a bang up job as the evil psychopath, but he is awesome in everything as an evil psychopath.
Side note: I would like to see a movie where he plays a nice guy for a change. How do we know he isn’t evil in real life and isn’t just playing himself in every movie? You heard it here first!The Legend of Tarzan was a good ride, it kept me entertained, but it lacked a strong plot to go with the action and visuals, so it’s a hard one to recommend. There were glimpses of other ideas going on in the background of the story, but they weren’t explained properly, which made it confusing overall. Being a story about Tarzan, it could’ve done with even more emphasis on his bond with the animals and spent more time in the Jungle. Maybe I’ll just go watch the original Tarzan instead.