Thursday, 7 July 2016

'The Legend of Tarzan' Review

It seems as if a lot of Disney animated movies are being made in to real life movies with the great technology that they have at their disposal. Although maybe not being redone by Disney, Tarzan is coming back to the big screen. I'm a fan of the animated version so looked forward to seeing the interesting character once again. I really hoped that this film would do the character justice but would it be able to do so?

It's been 10 years since Tarzan (Alexander Skarsgard), now known as John Clayton III, moved to London with his wife Jane (Margot Robbie). King Leopold of Belgium has sent his main man Leon Rom (Christoph Waltz) to the African Congo to come up with a plan that will lure the couple back home. Rom looks to handover Tarzan to an old enemy in return for Congo's diamonds. Rom will use Jane as a pawn to get Tarzan to come to him as Tarzan has to return to his wild side in order to save the native people and his wife.

With the recent success of 'The Jungle Book' in live action, the story of Tarzan does seem like a film that would be able to follow in the footsteps. The film would require a lot of CGI to bring the abundance of creatures to life but the film did not need as much as 'The Jungle Book'. And that is the only similarity between the two really as tone-wise, unlike the Disney versions, they are very different. 'The Legend of Tarzan' is much more serious and not as fun as the original which if you have seen the trailer, you would spot immediately. For me I feel this makes it harder for the film to be a success as it changes the tone of the most recent successful and memorable adaptation completely which may fool audiences. The movie does well to handle the serious tone as you get a real sense of danger in these locations which helps the film a lot. However it does try a few moments of comedy but it just didn't fit well with the rest of the film.

In saying that there is a serious tone within the film, there are those moments that make it quite fun to watch such as the fight sequences with Tarzan facing off against both human and animal. These moments are easy to watch and make a very enjoyable viewing. The finale- although quite silly- is very enjoyable to watch and quite an incredible moment. The Legend of Tarzan does have some scenes which create great moments that any viewer will enjoy easily.

Another main part of the film that I really enjoyed was the performances from the cast. Christoph Waltz was the best for me as I could watch him all day long he's just incredible. Like usual, he handles the dialogue and delivers it incredibly well which makes you want to listen to what he has to say. Alexander Skarsgard also does a good job as Tarzan in this new telling of the character. Margot Robbie as well puts in a good performance as Jane who does quite a lot for herself despite being held as a damsel in distress for large parts of the movie. 

Although the acting is good, there are some problems with the characters. Waltz character Leon Rom has a very bizarre talent as being deadly with a beaded necklace which I never really understood how someone could be so vicious with. Despite that, his plan all depends on Tarzan going back to the Congo which almost doesn't happen if it weren't for Samuel L Jackson's character George Washington Williams convincing him. It wasn't a foolproof plan which wasn't strong that didn't make sense as it was vital that this would happen. I wasn't a big fan of Jackson's character in the film as it was made clear that they wouldn't be waiting on him to catch up and shows that he is behind. Yet he always manages to be there in the end which doesn't add up. It's one or the other and the film seemed to forget where he was and what his capabilities were at times. He is also an expert at finding his way through the thick jungle with no map, compass or anything to get to an area where he has never been before. 

In a movie like this that features many wild animals, the CGI has to be up to standard. There are moments when creatures look incredible and really do live up to the standard set by previous movies. However, it is not consistent whatsoever. There are times when the CGI doesn't look too great and when you are trying to make a film that fools the audience into thinking they're real, you can't afford this to happen. I think this is most apparent with the apes in the film as there are moments that are breathtaking and some that unfortunately look quite cheap and overall bad. I may be mistaken but at one point, there is a scene where the CGI gorillas interact with humans and it is obvious that they are CGI due to the reactions of the actors. It is clear to see that they were just dropped in as characters don't react to what is next to them and threaten thin air.

Final Verdict = 

There is enjoyment to be had in this movie for sure and Christoph Waltz is great once again. However some parts both within the story and in CGI let the movie down. 'The Legend of Tarzan' is one of the better movies so far this summer although that is more down to the quality of other films.

So have you seen 'The Legend of Tarzan'? If so what did you think of it? I hope this review was useful for if you were planning on seeing the movie. Once again, thank you for reading my review, it is much appreciated!