The Legend of Tarzan Review
RYAN: This is an epic tale of greed, revenge and survival. It has everything you love and want out of a Tarzan story – there are aspects of his origin, but it’s more of an Indiana Jones type of story that takes a domesticated Tarzan back to the jungle.
BECKY: And I wasn’t expecting to see the film start with Tarzan all cultured and adapted. It was less about this boycub who has to learn language and more about a new story.
RYAN: And it’s Alexander Skarsgard who is in the best shape of his life and quite easy on the eyes. I loved the effects – all of the swinging on the vines and animal CGI that was so realistic and emotive. You actually feel what they’re feeling as well as the danger of them.
BECKY: You anthropomorphize animals in this film. As a veterinarian, I live for the moment where I’m touching an animal, and we’re understanding each other. But the sad reality is it doesn’t always happen as it seems so in this movie between Tarzan and the animals. I was a little yearning for what we see in this movie. Animals are all brought together risking their lives for their human friends, instead of the real world where it’s actually every animal for themselves. They’re getting involved in the humans’ problem in this movie.
RYAN: I really enjoyed Margot Robbie as Jane. She really looked the part – almost like the live action version of the animated Disney Jane.
BECKY: My dad thought she was the best Jane he’d seen from any of the Tarzan movies and he’s seen them all. I liked Christoph Waltz. He can really play any kind of character and he returns to the villainous form here.
RYAN: He most excels as the bad guy. He’s very good. And Samuel L. Jackson is one of my favorite actors and he’s also very good in this but he really took me out of it because while he looked of the time – this takes place in 1890 – his lines were very ‘of today.’ The audience responded well to his contemporary humor but it continuously broke the mystique for me. His running gags just didn’t work for me even though everyone else was laughing. In those moments he was less his character and more “Sam Jackson doing Sam Jackson.” His phraseology would not have been the same back then.
BECKY: And as much as I like him, and he’s the one who could pull it off, another casting choice may have been more subtle.
RYAN: It’s the only real criticism I have about this. Also, I wish they had shown it to us at the press screening in 3D. Some moments looked like they would have totally been enhanced by the 3D.
BECKY: I would have loved to have seen it in 3D. I do have to say this about the Alexander – he’s a great looking Tarzan but he’s very vanilla and bland.
RYAN: He was a bit more chill.
BECKY: He didn’t have that much dialogue but I loved seeing him nuzzle cats.
RYAN: There is a subplot about the slave story which was interesting and added another level of dimension to it. And it’s directed by David Yates who did the last 4 Harry Potter movies. He’s doing the upcoming Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them as well. I love him and this is another great adventure film for him. Stuart Craig is the production designer. He did all 8 HP films. That’s why it looked so outstanding.
BECKY: It makes you love nature and freedom and this movie just made me feel like I want to jump and swing on some vines.
RYAN: I’d like a tree house but I’d probably break a leg.