July 10, 2016


The Legend of Tarzan: An Entertaining Swing Through The Jungle

“The Legend of Tarzan” neatly juggles a collection of subplots, and streamlines them into a coherent and enjoyable tale that touches on the social injustices of slavery.

The film begins with Tarzan (Alexander Skarsgård) married to Jane (Margot Robbie) and living in England. It plays like a sequel that drizzles in flashbacks that serve as both a reminder of Tarzan’s origin, as well as a way to establish his relationships to the apes who adopted him.

The flashbacks to Tarzan’s jungle life are compelling. And the majority of the heart of the story, as it pertains to Tarzan, lies here where he is loved by his ape mother. I could have used a few more of these flashbacks.

Present day, Tarzan and Jane travel back to Africa under false pretenses, designed by a scheming Leon Rom (Christoph Waltz), who is loosely working with Chief Mbonga (Djimon Hounsou)—a man bent on revenge .

Rom wants what so many have wanted from Africa—diamonds.

Rom’s greed and just plain lack of humanity has used slavery for physical labor. This subplot injects heart into the main story—add to this, the killing of animals. I would have liked to have seen more of this, but that would have made this a very different story with not much time to focus on Tarzan’s return and escapades in saving Jane. Maybe if we get a sequel to this.


Alexander Skarsgård is a talented actor, whose star I’d love to see continue to rise. He showed great charisma in “True Blood”. However, if “The Legend of Tarzan” was the only movie I saw him in, I would have thought he was mostly a great pair of abs. And I don’t think it’s his fault.

Skarsgård is not given enough to work with and so he sort of dulls against the other more vibrant characters that surround him. As it stands, what he is given is played rather stoic as if he’s internalizing his feelings—which I think is mainly a directorial choice. Maybe to balance him out with Samuel L. Jackson, who doesn’t play his usual style.

Instead, he plays George Washington Williams, who is out of his element in the wild, which added a humorous charm.

Margot Robbie, as Jane, finds herself in the damsel in distress category but makes the best of it. She doesn’t just wait to be rescued, she is her own force to be reckoned with. 

And Christoph Waltz, as Leon Rom, is a watered down version of Hans Landa—as good as we’ve come to expect but nothing extraordinary.


The shots of Africa are breathtaking, particularly the day shots that offer sweeping views.

The apes are done very well. It isn’t all perfect. The scene with the stampede looks a bit off; but as a whole, it’s good enough. Technology is such that we can now see Tarzan swing on vines in all its glory.


The film entertains. The character of Tarzan could have used more moments to shine and express himself instead of coming off as a straight man to Samuel L. Jackson’s character. And for a sequel, I would prefer a simpler story with less secondary characters so that the subplots can breath a bit more. Whereas in “The Legend of Tarzan”, the relationship between Chief Mbonga and Tarzan felt short changed.

 Score: 7/10


About Lisa

Passionate about movies and writing. Hopes to someday be a published writer. So when she's not staring at the tube, she's spilling her imagination onto a blank page.

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