When it was first announced that we would get another Tarzan adaptation for the big screen, I felt a surge of mixed emotion. On the one hand, I would’ve loved nothing more than to see a great Tarzan movie but on the other, the history of Tarzan movies have shown us that that is not an easy feat to accomplish. Later on, it was announced that Lord John Clayton the 3rd, Tarzan, would be played by Alexander Skarsgård and those earlier mixed emotions turned to a slightly more negative scale. Now, having seen the movie, there are no more mixed emotions. Let’s take a look at what Tango thinks about a few things surrounding David Yates’ The Legend of Tarzan.
The first thing I’m gonna have to talk about here is the Tarzan we get in the film. When we first meet him, he’s living with his wife Jane in London under the name John Clayton the 3rd, as he would have had his family not been shipwrecked in the Congo when he was a baby, and he has seemingly left “Tarzan” behind but due to a collaboration between old foe and new, he heads back to Africa, with wife Jane and George Washington Williams, played by Margot Robbie and Samuel L. Jackson respectively. As the story progresses, we see the now civilized John Clayton slowly revert back to his old self, peeling off layer after layer until there’s only Tarzan left. This was a very fun take on the character to watch, and I have to say,Skarsgård did a great job. Any and all doubts I might have had was flushed away, because not only did Skarsgård bring a “Tarzan of the apes”-worthy physique, but he brought a depth to the character that I was not expecting. Truly a happy surprise. Kudos on this particular casting. This performance shows many a good thing in Alexander Skarsgård’s future.
As for Margot Robbie’s Jane Porter, yeah, that too was a great casting choice. I admit, I haven’t read Edgar Rice Burroughs’ ‘Tarzan of the Apes’ in a long, long time so the only real reference points I have here is the Disney movie we got in 1999, but I loved that portrayal of Jane and Robbie’s iteration felt very similar. She may not have been the most integral part of the story, but she also was (you’ll know what I mean when you see the film) and the way Robbie brought her to life was great.
Now, I’m not a historian but I do have some bits and pieces of knowledge spread out across the board so it was pretty fun to see Samuel L. Jackson’s portrayal of George Washington Williams, a fictionalized adaptation of the real life American Civil War soldier George Washington Williams. It was a fun way to bind together history with fiction an Williams’travels to the Congo served as a major plot point in the film, and Jackson did what he always does. He delivered, plain and simple.
As for the plot of the film, well… it brings nothing new to the table as the film gives us a mixture of very familiar plot points; the return of the prodigal son, the chosen one, the damsel in distress, political mischief, slavery, revenge and so on, but they all blend together perfectly, making them all together feel somewhat unique and in combination with the great cast, spectacular visuals and a fantastic score, I’m gonna have to go ahead and give this film the ‘Tango’s Stamp of Approval with honors. It wasn’t the greatest film I have ever seen but I enjoyed the hell out of it and I can’t wait until I’m able to see it again.
Now, you might have noticed that I didn’t mention anything about Christoph Waltz’ Leon Rom, or Djimon Hounsou’s Chief Mbonga. Why? Let’s just say I’m saving that for a later date.
Also, as I’ve been employed with a real job like a real grown-up, Tango’s Thoughts have had to suffer some negligence, as my Summer of 93 event has been postponed indefinitely and my reviews have been too far apart, but I’m working on my comeback along with a new layout of how I do things, so there is good things ahead on the site, I promise you that. But alas, I have no more time today, so I’m gonna leave you with this first impression of The Legend of Tarzan here and go work like a real life boy.