Joel Lake’s review published on Letterboxd:
The 2016 adaptation of the iconic tale of Tarzan, a boy raised by apes in the jungle and while many of the other Tarzan films show Tarzan growing up in the jungle, this version mostly takes place 10 years after Tarzan(now John Clayton the third) has left the jungle with his background peppered in with flashbacks. Tarzan is thrust back into the jungle when an event occurs that requires his attention.
Alexander Skarsgard is a formidable Tarzan and he has a great screen presence as well as good chemistry with Margot Robbie's Jane. It was also cool to see Robbie be a stronger presence to the story as she is more than capable to keep up with Tarzan and less "Damsel in distress" this time around. Samuel L. Jackson is basically here to be comic relief to the story, but he never drags the story down and he does bring some needed levity at pivotal times.
What drags the film down is the overall story which is so muddled at times that it really makes the film drag at times. A simple story is compounded by a lot of exposition scenes that felt unnecessary and a lot of plot threads that seem to go nowhere and mean little to nothing to the overall story. Christoph Waltz is severally misused in the film as his villainous character is uninspired and his performance just bland compared to say his Hans Landa (Inglorious Basterds) performance. The film also sidetracks the main story to deliver an oddly placed encounter with Tarzan and an indigenous group led by Djimon Hounson that detracts from the overall story being told.
Finally, the CGI feels poorly rendered and it's disappointing seeing that the film has a 180 million dollar budget to work with. It just looked so poor that I was taken out of the film several times.
That being said, there is fun to be had here. It's just crammed in and often lost in a complicated script that really loses the heart of the story as a result.