The Legend of Tarzan

The Legend of Tarzan ★★½

2016 Films Ranked!

This CGI fest tries to do to Tarzan what Disney’s The Jungle Book did for well, The Jungle Book, and bring Tarzan to life for a new generation. The film tries to something original with its storyline by not adapting the Tarzan myth but in the end, it can’t escape itself from telling something that is just as clichéd, dull and unoriginal, and boasts a really terrible script, full of moments that are meant to work but really, really don’t.

David Yates, director of the last four Harry Potter films, also borrows influences from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the Marvel heroes stories right down to the casting of Samuel L. Jackson. The film tries to paint Tarzan as a hero like Iron Man or Thor, but unlike both characters Alexander Skarsgard’s character, now living in London with his wife Jane, is really dull and has no personality whatsoever. If you’re looking for an interesting and diverse character look elsewhere, because although aside from Skarsgard this film has a fantastic cast in the form of Margot Robbie, Christoph Waltz, Samuel L Jackson and John Hurt, they’re largely all wasted as CGI is put first over storyline and nothing really takes off at all which is a shame.

The film sees Tarzan called back to the jungle to investigate the activities of a mining encampment and the film basically plays out how James Cameron’s Avatar played out but without the science fiction elements with literally a beat-for-beat storyline. Margot Robbie does what she can with the material before she unfortunately finds herself reduced to just another girl to be rescued by the main character, but Jackson and Waltz, whilst solid, are basically just playing their characters from The Hateful Eight and Spectre which is nowhere near as interesting as it sounds. And neither is the addition of Mad Max’s warboys, who somehow made it into this movie.

The Legend of Tarzan does its best to blend the formulas that made certain movies successful, there’s elements of legacy sequels like The Force Awakens here but on the whole it’s largely a pale imitation of what made these movies great. Lacking interesting protagonists and an interesting story, this film wastes a great cast in favour of grand CGI spectacle that as a result isn’t even very interesting. In fact, the story is essentially the same as James Cameron’s Avatar and as a result is one to avoid and adds to the growing list of disappointing Summer blockbusters. Hopefully Ghostbusters can break the trend, but as it stands I don’t think it will.

I guess this is what happens when my local cinema doesn't show The Neon Demon.

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