Jacob Martin (formally known as The Movie King)’s review published on Letterboxd:
This movie did better in its opening weekend over Steven Spielberg's The BFG and caused that film to flop. And the Spielberg film is superior in almost every way.
The Legend of Tarzan should have been a gripping take on the classic story directed by David Yates, someone who's done a fantastic job with the Wizarding World. This should have been a winner for him, but sadly, all that's left is a mostly bland and hollow adaptation that honestly feels more like a Tarzan fan fiction than an actual Tarzan film.
There's ideas in The Legend of Tarzan that could have worked (if Disney had reworked this into a live-action remake/spiritual sequel to the animation classic), where Tarzan goes to London, marries Jane, and is called to go back to Africa to stop colonialism in his home jungles, but here's the problem. Someone else (different studio and filmmakers) is telling their own Tarzan story, and as a standalone Tarzan movie, it falls flat on its feet. Not once does the movie sell me in why Tarzan would decide to got the civilian life, it fails to even go into Tarzan's relationship with the apes in favor on Tarzan vine swinging, and there's barely any chemistry in the Tarzan/Jane relationship.
I give props to Alexander Skarguard for beefing himself up in the Tarzan role, but that wasn't enough to say he gave a commanding performance. Same goes to Margot Robbie, an excellent actress, but is underutilized to just screaming, being a damsel, and left chained to a boat for most of the movie. And don't get me started with Christoph Waltz as the villain, who's sadly a one-dimensional power-hungry guy, and didn't even attempt to ham it up or make his lame character at least entertaining, something he's usually good at. (I blame the script).
Though the worst sin of all in this movie has got to be the inconsistent visuals. There's beautiful location shoots in this movie, and some of the animals are executed fine (the elephants in particular), but I was never convinced that Tarzan hung out with any apes in this version because the CG on them are as abysmal looking as a 90s computer game! And you know it's sad when a wildebeest stampede is more cartoonish here than The Lion King!
The Legend of Tarzan just plain sucks. I really don't know if I should blame David Yates for not trying (as he was also working on Fantastic Beasts at the same time) or was pressured by the studio to create an uninspiring Tarzan flick with no real ambitions. It wastes talented actors (the only one who seemed like he was enjoying himself was Samuel L. Jackson, because he always brings A-game hilarity even in crappy films), it fails to execute any solid ideas, has mostly horrid CG that feels like it's gone back in time to the most dated, and I would have preferred if Disney tackled the live-action update to connect with the animation classic, and bring a more emotionally driven narrative with it since that cartoon best established why Tarzan works as a story and a character. This film just does nothing for me and felt like a quick cash cow and just wanted the big budget, CG, the beefy actor, and vine swinging.
Right now, just keep Yates with J.K. Rowling and keep churning out magical movies from the Wizarding Realm, because that's his strong suit.
Rolling Stone song of the day, #408...
"Enter Sandman" by Metallica (1991). Hard rock at its hardest, with flashing guitars galore and an intense melodic structure that could easily frighten children (ironically, the song's about children being scared of monsters under their beds). Definitely a difficult song to try to play on Rock Band because of the song structure and the insanely fast guitar riffs. Definitely a favorite rock song of mine from the 90s, and me raving about it isn't giving it any justice!
Though the video sucks, featuring some of the most obnoxious editing I've ever seen in any medium (and I've seen Suicide Squad)!
10/10 for the song, video is a big, fat 0