‘The Legend of Tarzan’ Review: Jungle Unchained

‘The Legend of Tarzan’ Review: Jungle Unchained

Tarzan vs his 'brother' Akut

2016 saw the reboot of two of the biggest ‘kids of the jungle’ stories; The Legend of Tarzan and The Jungle Book. Both very similar. Both great 3D experiences. And both having a not so great storyline. The writing wasn’t by any means atrocious; it just wasn’t anything to get excited over. Writing aside, The Legend of Tarzan was a very enjoyable movie. I loved watching it. Alexander Skarsgård didn’t disappoint in the role. His performance was built mainly on physical details and it absolutely works because he’s keenly aware of himself as a physical performer. He was the perfect Tarzan with his long, well-built body. He’s also ruthless, and I like that they get that side of him right.

MORE: ‘The Jungle Book’ Review – A Man-Cub's Journey to Self-Discovery

The antagonist in the film is Leon Rom (Christoph Waltz), who works for King Leopold. He orchestrates a plan to get Tarzan back to The Congo to offer him up to Chief Mbonga (Djimon Hounsou), and in return Rom would get diamonds. Tarzan tries to warn the primitive tribe under Chief Mbonga that Rom and his men would come back for more diamonds and that they could lose their land and freedom all together to the outsiders.  

Tarzan vs Chief Mbonga 

The writers have filled up the premise with subplots involving colonialism, slavery and the pillaging of The Congo’s resources. It’s funny how the natives had to wait for Tarzan to save them and couldn’t do it themselves though. Real-life campaigning journalist George Washington Williams (Samuel L Jackson) is also transplanted into the story as Tarzan’s comedic ‘sidekick’. He makes for a great cheerleader to the hero and delivers rather well on the comedy throughout the movie. Harry Potter director David Yates deploys amazing special effects in the film; the CGI gorilla tribe was spectacularly done. The battle between Tarzan and his ape brother Akut was a great scene that I enjoyed watching and the fact that Tarzan even survived it was very perplexing seeing as he’s only human after all. For all his ape-punching, wildebeest-grappling and months of work in the gym, Skarsgård is convincing as a man whose heart fights and stands for the jungle. 

Rating: 8/10

This review is courtesy of IMAX

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