I have to admit, I was both excited and apprehensive after reading both positive and negative reviews about “The Legend of Tarzan”. But I bit the bullet and trekked to the theater.
(There are lots o’ posters for the movie, but I like this one best)
This rendition of Tarzan is NOT a Disney spin-off, and you shouldn’t bring anyone who is frightened by violence and blood. Or anyone who will blush like a maid with a shirtless dude, because shirts are highly optional with Tarzan. Also—his hair is very close to being in its own shampoo commercial.
Alexander Skarsgård takes the lead role, with Margot Robbie playing his Jane. Both actors are superb. They were children raised in Africa (he by gorillas and she by her English-teaching father in a neighboring village), transplanted to England and now forced back to Africa. While Jane embraces the idea, Tarzan is less than happy, since he knows he’s headed back as a political pawn.
Accompanying the pair is George Washington Williams, played by Samuel L. Jackson. He is the sole misstep of the movie. While the entire cast wraps you into the story, Mr. Jackson sounds nearly identical to many of his other movie and commercial roles, right down to the unnecessary swearing and crude comments. Seriously…I half expected him to look at the camera at some point and say, “What’s in your wallet?”
Tarzan and G.W. Williams motor down to Africa to see if King Leopold II is enslaving the men there to mine diamonds, which the King is doing. Jane tags along because she misses “home.” The King’s right-hand-man, Leon Rom, kidnaps Jane in order to deliver Tarzan to the leader of the tribe who guards the diamond mines. King Leopold needs the diamonds to pay his debts. The only problem is that Rom has no idea that Tarzan will do anything to protect the ones he loves—and he loves Jane above everything else.
There is no sex shown in the movie, but it certainly portrays the electric current between the married Jane and Tarzan. An obvious passion flows between them and, as a married gal myself, I like the way it was handled—enough to make me believe it and stopping short of a cinematic romp.
Yes, there is lots of CGI, but it help blends the story. I mean, we all can pick out a man in a gorilla suit. At one point, I thought, “Is it wrong that I’m thinking of ‘The Lion King’ right now?” So, there are a couple of cheese ball moments too.
Over all, I give “The Legend of Tarzan” a couple of thumbs up for not only a good story, but a believable love story woven into plot, holding it all together.
Sarah Bennett – Column: Film Reviews
Wife and mom, daughter and sister, aunt and Sunday School teacher, Sarah adores the roles God has given her in Northern California. She has published magazine articles in Enjoy and Assets, and enjoys writing fan fiction. A bit of a sci-fi nerd, geek and self-proclaimed dork, there isn’t much she won’t try at least once…unless it involves mayonnaise, because that stuff is just gross.