The Legend of Tarzan: Movie Review

"The Legend of Tarzan" on paper feels off. It is easy to assume that its the prototypical film that people should shun in a heart beat. The movie grabbing onto a well-known fictional character's name recall and the seemingly CGI-driven aesthetic instantly beckons some negativity in any shape or form. But hugely surprising, "The Legend of Tarzan" is actually a compelling watch. It seriously delivered a deep look into the life, the psyche, the legend and the man that is Tarzan.
In the late 1800s, the Congo was partitioned to the Belgians. King Leopold II of Belgium is about to go bankrupt and desperately needs to look for riches fast. He entrusts Captain Leon Rom (Christoph Waltz) to find him mythical diamonds right in the heart of the Congo which he does but with a huge catch - he must bring Tarzan to an African chief who protects said diamonds. It has been years since the man once known as Tarzan (Alexander Skarsgård) left the jungles of Africa behind for a gentrified life as John Clayton III, Lord Greystoke, with his beloved wife, Jane (Margot Robbie) at his side. He has been invited back to the Congo to serve as a trade emissary of Parliament, unaware that he is a pawn in a deadly convergence of greed and revenge, masterminded by Captain Rom. But Rom doesn't know that he is about to unleash the man and the force behind the stories and the legends.
Let's get straight to the point - "The Legend of Tarzan" is not perfect but it is also not as bad as you might expect it to be. The outcome was actually way better than expected. The plot was simple but had a healthy dose of intrigue and injections of back story to how Tarzan was "adopted" by Great Apes and how he and Jane eventually met made sure that it had our attention from start to finish. We also loved how the movie explored the inner workings of Tarzan's mind especially now that he has had a taste of civilized life. It's a good contrast to when he was still in the jungle and until the turning point where he was taken back to humans. The visuals itself were mostly great and realistic. At times, we found ourselves terrified especially with the Great Apes - that's how effective it was - while the greyish tone of the film was a little bit too dull and dark for our taste. Finally, the cast was okay. Christoph Waltz delivers as a villain while Margot Robbie and Alexander Skarsgård delivers well as the leads. The only major gripe we had was with the obvious miscast of Samuel L. Jackson as George Williams. We just couldn't gel with his character and the comic relief vibe of his character just felt off for a very serious film. Overall, "The Legend of Tarzan" has its quirks and it has that formulaic instances that holds it back. But when it explores and dares to be creative, the scenes and the characters shine and luckily, the film is mostly that.
Rating: 3 and a half reels

Why you should watch it:
- the film is a deeper look into a character most of us have never taken too seriously
- visuals were stunning and terrifyingly good

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- Samual L. Jackson was miscast for sure

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