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Cinema Dispatch: The Legend of Tarzan

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The Legend of Tarzan and all the images you see in this review are owned by Warner Bros Pictures

Directed by David Yates

I had no idea this movie was even coming out until maybe a month or two ago, and it seems like the studio wants it that way.  They’ve been trying to get a live action Tarzan movie out since AT LEAST 2003 (probably to capitalize on the Disney film) and you can really tell that this shit was cobbled together from a production that’s been willed into existence by sheer stubbornness at the refusal to let a bad idea (or at least a good idea with no good way to bring it to life) just go away and to work on something else.  Still, the Disney movie WAS pretty good and he’s a character that’s endured for over a hundred years now as he was a creation of Edgar Rice Burroughs; the king of badass genre stories.  Do they manage to eke out an enjoyable action flick from this timeless source material, or will this suffer the same fate as the Conan remake and John Carter which were the last two Burroughs adaptations?  Let’s find out!!

A quick refresher on the story of Tarzan that we all know (as told by Phil Collins).  AHEM!  A paradise untouched by man; a simple life, the apes lived in peace.  But dangers are in fact no stranger here!  The son of man known as Tarzan is taken in by the apes after his parents are killed, but in this version it’s actually the apes that killed his dad… so I guess that makes things a bit awkward here.  Despite that; the power to be strong, the wisdom to be wise, all these things came to him in time during his journey from boy to man!  But in time he ALSO wanted to know about these strangers like him.  One stranger in particular was Jane Porter whose every gesture and every move she made in turn made Tarzan feel like never before, and soon he had this growing need to be beside her.  Now if you only know the story from the Disney Movie (pretty much anyone born after 1990 and are HOPEFULLY getting all these clever jokes I’m making), you all know that his story ends with Jane staying with him in the jungle.  Not true here (and in pretty much every other version of the story from my understanding) as he goes to some other world far beyond that place; namely England.  Thankfully this brings me to the ACTUAL movie I’m talking about (also meaning I can stop quoting Phil Collins lyrics) which involves a domesticated Tarzan (Alexander Skarsgård) who’s being asked by the British government to go to back to his home (The Congo) for… some reason.  Actually, I’m not sure why Jim Broadbent (playing A British PersonTM) wants him there so badly, but I do get why Samuel L Jackson wants him there who’s playing George Washington Williams; an ambassador for the US who wants to see if the rumors about the Belgians enslaving people in their colony is actually true so he can report it back to his government.  Tarzan (also known as John Clayton) begrudgingly accepts the assignment and also begrudgingly accepts that Jane (Margot Robbie) is gonna go along with him.  Waiting for him in The Congo though is Christoph Waltz playing Captain Léon Rom who is assigned by the King of Belgium to get some damn diamonds out of that colony by any means necessary, and Tarzan is the key to getting them.  How?  Well there’s a tribe there whose leader is SUPER pissed at Tarzan and has agreed to help Waltz get the diamonds if he will deliver Tarzan.  Needless to say that Rom goes about this in the most dickish way possible which includes kidnapping Jane, and so Tarzan must go after them to save his wife and stop them from doing any more evil shit in his home country; all of this with the help of Samuel L Jackson of course.  Can the two find out what Léon Rom is up to and save Jane before it’s too late?  Just what is Christoph Waltz up to other than to pillage the country of all its natural resources?  Wait, this movie is somehow less than two hours!?  Well it certainly FEELS a lot longer, that’s for sure.

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“We’ll get to the gorillas and vine swinging soon enough, but NOT before our morning tea!  What kind of barbarian do you take me for?”

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