The legend of Tarzan is one of the most popular stories ever told. This week, Warner Bros brings director David Yates’ The Legend Of Tarzan to the big screen.
Tarzan (Alexander Skarsgård) is no longer Tarzan, but John Clayton, who has now settled in England as the 3rd Viscount Greystroke with his wife, Jane (Margot Robbie). But life is not as simple to allow a man of the wild to live a civilised life without the past haunting him. This is a violent, immoral world where lesser men with greater ambitions will go to any lengths to get their deed done.
John’s past weaves him so much into the culture of Congo that he and his wife turn into unwitting pawns at the hands of Captain Léon Rom (Christopher Waltz), a corrupt merciless Belgian captain, Chief Mbonga (Djimon Hounsou), the leader of an African tribe and others. There are diamonds involved, there are mercenary armies involved and then there are the gorillas. Along the way comes a brief look at Victorian England.
The film succeeds in reviving an epic that would be lost in time, if not for such movies now and then. The director succeeds in creating Tarzan, the mysterious man who is now in permanent conflict with himself. Does he embrace his roots of living in the wild, or should be an able member of an aristocratic family?
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The script wonderfully tells a whole new generation of how civilized we are today compared to the times back then. The subtle underlying humour adds spice to movie, making it a fun watch.
Skarsgård is excellent as Tarzan and makes us believe that if John wasn’t a Noble, he would be King. He succeeds in creating a character that has several layers to him. Samuel L Jackson as the man we will call only George here is surprisingly content in playing a buffer to the hero of the film.
But the person who seems to have signed up for the film to break all clichés about women in an adventure film is Robbie as Jane Porter. Her fiery act gives us a Jane who is an equal to Tarzan. Every time she takes to the screen, you know there’s a scene to take home, an antic to remember and a dialogue to repeat.
No review for this film would be complete without talk of Waltz as Captain Leon Rom – he succeeds in creating the embodiment of Victorian evil, a nemesis that will be remembered for years to come. Waltz does it all with élan, whether it is staring poker-faced when Robbie demolishes his ego or having a non-vocal pact with a pack of gorillas.
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You actually feel relieved when his story doesn’t exactly come to an end, this is a character we want to know more about. His scenes with Robbie are the very soul of this highly emotional film.
However, The Legend Of Tarzan is not without its failings. The action sequences leave much to be desired. This is a unique, cartoon kind of violence that doesn’t spill blood but breaks bones and requires stitches.
This film will be known for having one of the strongest female characters ever, and the understated statement of menace, Christoph Waltz’s Rom.
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