Friday, July 1, 2016
Led by an all-star cast, The Legend of Tarzan doesn't bore, but doesn't move us either.
Review by Matt CummingsIf the 2016 box office has proven anything, it's that American audiences are becoming more choosy in what they watch. We've seen that message quickly emerge as one sub-par film after another has fallen to poor turnout and negative reactions by critics. And while The Legend of Tarzan hopes to reverse that trend - and it's better than most of what we've seen this season - it still rings a bit hollow. A retelling of the classic novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs, we are introduced to the British gentlemen Lord Greystoke (Alexander Skarsgard), who struggles to maintain his sense of self in 19th Century England, all while events unfold in his native land that will draw him back to Africa. Central to this is the politics of colonization, with the Belgium king Leopold staking his claim over the continent. But he'll need help, and therefore enlists the nasty Leon Rom (Christoph Waltz) to broker a deal with the local tribes. The terms are simple: lure Tarzan back to Africa so that a tribal chief (Djimon Hounsou) can carry out his lifelong grudge against him, and receive a huge gift of diamonds to help finance Leopold's mercenary army. But Tarzan isn't about to comply, even at the behest of the American envoy George Washington Williams (Samuel L. Jackson), who wants to know Leopold's real plan. Eventually drawn home, Tarzan and his wife Jane (Margo Robbie) embark on a journey of adventure, unaware of Rom's plans but knowing that their true home might lie in the jungles far away from the brick/mortar structures of 'civilized' England. Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @SandwichJohnFilms, and follow author Matt Cummings at @mfc90125.