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The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

It’s that time again! It’s time for another movie. review presented by FatCats Gilbert located on the southwest corner of Greenfield and Baseline. FatCats Gilbert has so much to do, and with the most affordable prices in the valley, you can’t go wrong with any activity whether it’s mini golf, bowling, or seeing a movie in the most comfortable recliners out there!


In the season of the blockbuster let’s keep the ball rolling with at least three movie reviews coming this week. I have been lucky enough to be able to check out The Legend of Tarzan first, so let’s talk about it! I am actually a really big Tarzan fan. When I say that, I mean I’m a big fan of the original Disney animated film. Tarzan and his loincloth aren’t my phone screensaver or a fathead in my room or anything. I just like the original Disney film. I would say that I like it more than the average bear. If this was The Jungle Book, that would have been a perfect joke. I’m still going to use it though, because the term “more than the average gorilla” isn’t a thing. I have to say I was actually very excited for this movie. I wasn’t completely on board until I saw the trailer, but I thought that the trailer was great, and with high level actors like Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson, and Margot Robbie, this movie had a lot going for it. So, let’s talk about Tarzan!


The Legend of Tarzan is directed by David Yates and stars Alexander Skarsgård, Margot Robbie, Christoph Waltz, and Samuel L. Jackson. After Tarzan, who is now known as John Clayton, has become acclimated with his life in the city, he is brought back to the jungle he once roamed to take on a man who is dead set on mining the land for diamonds. There is one problem: an indigenous tribe isn’t exactly going to just let that happen. In return for the land for mining and the diamonds that can be found in the land, they want something. Actually they want someone, and that man’s name is Tarzan. Or John Clayton. Or John Clayton III. I didn’t know there were three John Claytons before Tarzan in his family tree, and I don’t know how he would know that, but since he could probably kill me with his pinkies, I’ll let him name himself whatever he wants. Also, I thought that it was a little bit of a coincidence that Tarzan’s name is the name of the antagonist of the classic Disney film. Just a side note, but not a big deal.


The Legend of Tarzan is not owned by Disney, so I didn’t need this movie to pick up right where the 1999 film left off. I wasn’t exactly expecting Phil Collins to take part in this soundtrack even though You’ll Be In My Heart is in my heart. I don’t know a ton about the mythology, so I tried to wipe my slate clean, and there were more than a few good aspects about this movie. I actually liked Alexander Skarsgård as Tarzan, and I totally bought him. He was funny, relatively charismatic, and jacked, so it was easy to see him as Tarzan. Also, Samuel L. Jackson was absolutely awesome. Most of the comedy from this movie comes from Jackson, and that sarcastic, loud tone and delivery always gets me in just about any movie he is in. He was probably my favorite part of this movie, and I just loved every moment he is on-screen. He isn’t the main character, and he is no extraordinary guy, and that is kind of his gimmick or schtick, but I still loved watching him on-screen because when the big moment calls and the plot calls for his skills, he does not disappoint. Also, what would a movie in the jungle be without absolutely stunning visuals? We got it earlier this year in The Jungle Book, and though I’ll say that I was more impressed with The Jungle Book, this movies design and scope is still very impressive, and it was really visually intriguing. The final two members of the cast I have to talk about were both Margot Robbie and Christoph Waltz. Both gave solid performances, and while I was much, much more interested in what Tarzan and Samuel L. Jackson were talking about, I still thought that they showed up for this film and were able to show off their acting chops. I cannot recall seeing either of those two “phoning-it-in,” and I can’t say that The Legend of Tarzan is any different. Also, in terms of filmmaking, I really like the way that David Yates uses the camera. I have not seen all of David Yates’ films, but from what I’ve seen, I think his technical aspects and artistic elements are very good in terms of camerawork and cinematography. This movie is beautiful, and Yates, again, did not disappoint me with that.


Where I can say that I think that The Legend of Tarzan fell short for me was in its story. It really took a long time for me to get into the story. Almost the entire time that Tarzan is in the city, I’m not really as emotionally involved as I want to be, and though I never quite reach the point of fully caring, it does pick up when they get into the jungle. I thought that the story was a little sloppy as well, and with David Yates, who directed my personal favorite Harry Potter film and the unreleased Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, I think that this is one of his more subpar films in that aspect. It was a pretty generic revenge plot, and though I can’t put that solely on Yates since, let’s be honest, an original and enthralling revenge plot is hard to find now days with Kill Bill, Django: Unchained, Oldboy, Gladiator, Léon: The Professional, Once Upon a Time in the West, and so many more revenge movies being made with countless more stories being told by mouth and on pages. Forgive me if I forgot your favorite revenge movie. I probably forgot some of my own. If Jaws: The Revenge is one of your favorites, we respect that in this dojo. Anyways, like I said, it felt pretty generic with a slick-talking bad guy, our main character’s love interest on the line, and the world at stake.


Overall, I did like The Legend of Tarzan, and though it’s a much harder version of Tarzan than you may expect if you like the 1999 film, it’s still a visually striking movie with great performances. It felt a little bit flat in terms of emotional involvement in the story, and I did not completely latch onto the movie with my heart the way I wanted to, but I completely latched onto the movie with my eyes the way I wanted to. The doctor tells me my left eye doesn’t know it’s there. I don’t know what that means. That’s just what she said. It knew it was there in this movie, and I was pleased with that aspect. I’m going to give The Legend of Tarzan a 6.2/10.


So what did you think of The Legend of Tarzan? Comment and let me know right in that comment section down below! Also, what are you going to be seeing this weekend? The BFG and The Purge: Election Year will also be released on Friday, so if you are seeing those, let me know about that as well! There is a 100% chance that you will see reviews for both The BFG and Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, so be sure to stick around for those. I’m going to try my hardest to get a review out for The Purge: Election Year, but if I don’t, I apologize. Also, after I see The BFG, I will be ranking all of Steven Spielberg’s movies, and even though I don’t anticipate The BFG cracking the top ten of the man who is one of my biggest inspirations, I still want to give it a chance, so be sure to stick around for those! As always, thank you, and keep listening to 88.7 The Pulse!

Photos courtesy of Warner Bros.

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Justin Lyons

Hey, it's Justin Lyons! I am the Chief Film Critic for The Pulse. Have any questions for me? Please feel free to email me at [email protected]
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