‘The Legend of Tarzan’ Review

'The Legend of Tarzan’ leaves you hanging from an all-too-familiar vine, looking for where it even messed up in the first place.

‘The Legend of Tarzan’ plays like the wildest adventure flick of the summer, yet loses its plot somewhere in the jungle.

the legend of tarzan
Photo courtesy of Steven Zang.

We know the story, and we know it all too well. From swinging vines to bellowing animal screeches, the archetypal being that is Tarzan limits itself deeply through its distinctive persona. And, unfortunately, the transition into a live-action realm has not proved to be much better for the ape-man of the hour. Just ask this summer’s most recent outing into the classic fable, The Legend of Tarzan.

Years after Tarzan’s evolution into a civilized citizen of Britain, under the new alias of “Lord Greystoke” (Alexander Skarsgård) , the African Congo invites him and his now-wife Jane (Margot Robbie) to inspect the changes that Belgium has made to the land. With the assistance and persuasion of American diplomat George Washington Williams (Samuel L. Jackson), the trio take part in a massive homecoming in the Congo-based town of Boma. However, when Belgian deputy Léon Rom (Christoph Waltz) captures Jane in an attempt to deliver him to a vengeful neighboring tribe, Tarzan is forced to pick up old habits to survive the land that he once deserted.

With The Legend of Tarzan, it’s quite apparent that director David Yates gives us a solid framework for unconventionality. Nevertheless, in the 109 minutes screen-time, one could argue that such a hopeful synopsis is left with nothing but empty promises. The excitement factor doesn’t feel so exciting, even in the midst of Tarzan’s most barbarian behaviors.

High points of action are poorly-meshed with a dragged-out trek into familiar territory. In other words, expect to see a lot of unneeded walking and climbing. In fact, this new rendition feels almost as if Yates and his Director of Photography, Henry Braham, are trudging through the jungle half the time just to show you how impressive their landscape camera shots came out.

The Legend of Tarzan is a film that could be enjoyable for some, as it is filled with thrills and action pieces,” said Darian Scalamoni, a filmmaking major and the founder of CinemaWave, a blog that focuses on everything film and television. “However, the overall finishing product is underwhelming. It seems scaled down due to a poor script and mediocre CGI work.”

It’s safe to say that even though the casting bill is quite strong with this retelling, Tarzan provides an unstable platform for the talent at hand. Furthermore, the word “unstable” essentially sums up the film as a whole, trying hard to understand itself as it drags along. And the audience is left trying to understand where their ticket money went in the first place.

The Legend of Tarzan is now playing in movie theaters nationwide! Some local venues include AMC Clifton Commons 16, Allwood Cinemas in Clifton and even Bow Tie Bellevue Cinemas in the heart of downtown Montclair. For a list of even more theaters and show-times, visit fandango.com and plan your next trip to the movies today!

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