The story picks up after with Tarzan (Alexander Skarsgård) now called by his royal name John Clayton III, a perfect specimen of a man with his sexy-as-hell wife Jane Porter (Margot Robbie) living in London. He’s asked to join a trip back to his “homeland” the Congo to find out if the natives are being enslaved for the benefit of the rich. But all this is masterminded by Captain Léon Rom as part of his mission to bring back diamonds that would help the Belgium king rule all of Congo. Tarzan doesn’t want to go, but Jane wants to “go home”, and so the adventure starts.
Through flashbacks we learn things about Tarzan and his childhood, but we don’t learn how and where he got the name Tarzan. Or why he left the jungle, or why the village people accept him, or how he and wife Jane lost their first baby, or how he talks to animals, or how the “civilased” world knew he was of royal decent. I wanted to hear him say “me Tarzan, you Jane”, you know the little things that make up the big picture.
Well, I wanted to know those things, and here lies the problem with the movie.
Legend of Tarzan plays like a sequel. It feels like the characters have gone through a previous story arc that landed them here. Like there was a first movie that took place in the jungle and all the fun and exciting stuff happened and this installment is the calm before the storm of Tarzan 3.
The beginning of the movie introduces us a world where everyone knows who the great Tarzan is. His demeanour is that of Bruce Banner, a man who desperately wants to show us (the audience) his magic trick because the rest of world has seen it already, but holds back. With this in place, the story feels like we picking up mid way into a great epic.
The action scenes aren’t that great, it’s stuff we’ve seen before. I don’t mind it because the build up is entertaining. When Tarzan goes home to his Ape family, it’s fun to watch. When he commands the animals in the jungle to help him, great stuff.
Now for the elements you should TRY REALLY HARD TO IGNORE:
In 2016, you can’t get away with making a movie where a white man saves black people and rub it in the audience’s faces.
The second villain in the movie, Chief Mbonga (Djimon Hounsou) is a silly plot line they should have saved for the sequel. It was unnecessary.
Too much plot for a first movie. I didn’t care for 80% of the people on screen because I didn’t know them. The animals where interesting though.
It’s watchable, it’s entertaining enough for its run time. It’s not a bad start but I’m not sure where the filmmakers can go after this.
Have you seen The Legend of Tarzan? what did you think? Let me know in the comments below.
Is The Legend of Tarzan good? Its okay • Is it better than The Jungle Book? That's for you to decide • Do we rate things on this site? Yes, and The Legend of Tarzan gets