Film Review: The Legend of Tarzan

Film Poster: The Legend of Tarzan

Film Poster: The Legend of Tarzan

Skarsgard does not embarrass himself, which says a lot.

I liked what they did with the story. When the movie opens, it is the late 1880s and John Clayton III, the Earl of Greystoke (Alexander Skarsgard) has been rescued from the jungle and his family of gorillas, gotten married, and easily slipped into his role as heir to his title and position in politics and upper crust idiocrasies.  He has totally assimilated into London society acquiring the accent of the English aristocracy, the so-called ‘Upper Received Pronunciation’.

The Tarzan-Jane (Margot Robbie) story has made Earl Greystoke and Countess Greystoke celebrities. The Earl is a big “get” for dinner parties.

Badly bewigged American adventurer George Washington Williams (Samuel L. Jackson) asks John to return to the Congo and stop the King of Belgium from enslaving the natives.

The King of Belgium is using the natives as slaves to build a railroad that will move excavated diamonds out of Africa.

The King’s henchman is Simon Legree’s doppelgänger Captain Rom, played by the standard-bearer of sniggering evil in movies today, Christoph Waltz. Captain Rom follows John, Jane and George to the Congo. If he can kidnap John and turn him over to Tarzan’s nemesis Chief Mbonga (Djimon Hounsou), the King of Belgium will be allowed to continue building his railroad with slaves.

Tarzan and Mbonga have history.

While Jackson and Waltz are along merely for laughs and the CGI animals look fake, Skarsgard does not embarrass himself. He looks terrific and the love scenes with Robbie look genuine. He must have had tremendous faith in director David Yates.

With Yates and screenwriters Adam Cozad and Craig Brewer delivering a short and dark story, THE LEGEND OF TARZAN leaps to the top of the many previous film projects of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan.

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Member of Las Vegas Film Critics Society: www.lvfcs.org/.

Victoria Alexander lives in Las Vegas, Nevada and answers every email at victoria.alexander.lv@gmail.com.

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