The Legend of Tarzan literally swings into cinemas bringing to life once more Edgar Rice Burroughs’ beloved fictional character. This time around, Alexander Skarsgård steps into the shoes of the Lord of the Apes with Margot Robbie playing his beloved Jane. But can this new adventure measure up to the legend that is Tarzan? Let’s find out.
The Story The film kicks off with a narrative involving the political turmoil revolving the Congo, specifically the near bankrupt King Leopold II of Belgium and his efforts to mine the fabled diamonds of Opar to fund his government. Sending his most trusted servant, Léon Rom to the Congo, the envoy is ambushed by Chief Mbonga who strikes a deal with Rom to exchange the diamonds for the man known as Tarzan.
What Worked The setting of Tarzan, which plays close to the origins of the character whilst forging a new path altogether for the Lord of the Apes. The Tarzan in this film has already left his savage life behind and has slowly immersed himself into civilisation before a mission recalls him and his beloved Jane back to their old stomping grounds.
Plus Points Great special effects and settings. The inclusion of Samuel L Jackson as the film’s third wheel and also much needed comic relief.
Minus Points The inclusion of one too many plotlines in the film, involving Rom’s mission to claim the diamonds for his king and Chief Mbonga’s beef with Tarzan. Add to that the political problems between Belgium, Britain and the United States and the insertion of a subplot involving slavery and its all a bit much don’t you think?
Conclusion The Legend of Tarzan swings into the realm of summer movie blockbusters delivering more of a buddy cop type film instead of a sweeping epic. The move though is workable to say the least as it’s a move to possibly kick-start a franchise for the Lord of the Apes. Whether or not it will work, will depend on how the film does at the box-office, but for the average movie fan, The Legend of Tarzan is entertaining enough to warrant a viewing.