Thursday, July 7, 2016

Movie Review: The Legend of Tarzan

Title: The Legend of Tarzan
Release Date: July 1, 2016
Starring: Alexander Skarsgård, Margot Robbie, Samuel L. Jackson
Director: David Yates
Runtime: 110 minutes
Rated: PG-13
View on IMDb

It has been years since the man once known as Tarzan (Alexander Skarsgård) left the jungles of Africa behind for a gentrified life as John Clayton III, Lord Greystoke, with his beloved wife, Jane (Margot Robbie) at his side. Now, he has been invited back to the Congo to serve as a trade emissary of Parliament, unaware that he is a pawn in a deadly convergence of greed and revenge, masterminded by the Belgian, Captain Leon Rom (Christoph Waltz). But those behind the murderous plot have no idea what they are about to unleash.

I'm going to start this review by being totally honest with all of you. There's pretty much one reason I decided to see Tarzan.

The truth is, I didn't expect this movie to be all that good. Let's face it, Tarzan movies often aren't... Well, except the Disney one. But this isn't that. I thought The Legend of Tarzan would be one long, ridiculous, cheese fest, but one where I'd get to watch Eric Northman Alexander Skarsgård running through the jungle and hugging lions shirtless. Add to that a friend who is also a huge fan of this actor and there was no way I was NOT seeing this movie.

(This review will be GIF heavy because Alexander Skarsgård.)

The Legend of Tarzan actually begins long after John Tarzan has left the jungle to live among people in modern civilization. Indeed, he's a regular gentleman!

When Tarzan learns that the Congo is in trouble, he returns to help those that he left behind. So, let's talk about our main character a little more, shall we? I'll admit, I wasn't sure about him at first. For the first several minutes of the film he just sort of stalks around and stares at people menacingly. Then again, I suppose being raised by gorillas mangani will do that to a person. Once he's back in the jungle though, Tarzan comes out of his shell and is a total badass. 

Obviously, Jane comes with him because He's Tarzan, she's Jane, and that's what Jane does.  

Surprisingly, I actually really liked Jane too. She was far more tolerable than expected and was actually kind of awesome. While she didn't do a ton of super crazy amazing things, she was 100% NOT a damsel. And, actually, she did do some pretty awesome things too. She never, ever lost hope because Tarzan is no ordinary man and she knew that he would come for her, but she also held her own. 

The story was actually pretty incredible too. While a Tarzan movie has every opportunity to be incredibly corny, this one is very well done. I loved that it was set during actual events! I loved Tarzan on a mission not only to save the Congo, but also to save Jane! He was a man with a plan and he did not have any qualms about doing ANYTHING to get to where he needed to be. 

I also loved everything to do with the Congo. The wide shots were absolutely stunning and gave me actual chills. The CGI was actually very well done. Of course, you could tell at times that things were not real, but you can tell that this was done on a budget big enough to do it right. I loved all of the time spent with the animals and among the landscapes. 

My only real complaint was that I would have liked to see more about young Tarzan and how he survived growing up being raised in the jungle by a more vicious species of gorilla. Throughout the film he mentioned knowing different animals since childhood and I would have loved to have seen more of that, although I guess it may have been a little boring without any speaking. 

(Side note: I asked my friend what negatives she could think of about this movie and her input was that Tarzan didn't take his shirt off fast enough.) 

Overall this movie was fantastic! I didn't go in expecting an actual quality film, but I came out knowing that I'll probably have to go see this one again and will definitely be buying it! If you're a fan of Tarzan, Alexander Skarsgård, or adventure stories, I definitely recommend this one!