Momma Told Me: The Legend Of Tarzan Film Review

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Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Legend Of Tarzan Film Review

The Legend of Tarzan
Momma Told Me: Everyone knows the story.

There have been  few films on my radar, so to speak, for 2016- The Secret Life Of Pets, Star Trek Beyond, Doctor Strange, Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, The Magnificent Seven, and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, to be specific. These are the films I plan on booking my tickets in advance, opening night, for- the ones I plan my entire week around when they are about to drop. This was the case with The Secret Life Of Pets, a film I'd stalked since the first previews and teasers were dropped nearly 2 years ago- I simply had to see it, and this was the weekend I was going to see it. So I made my plans and a girlfriend casually suggested, why not make it a double feature.

I hadn't really seen a film in theaters in a month, with all of the upheaval and drama during the first half of these year in my personal life, so a double feature sounded like the perfect treat. Naturally, since we were seeing 'my' film, the second film was her pick- The Legend Of Tarzan. Until yesterday I'd only seen a single preview- one that looked very much like traditional Tarzan and featured a smoking hot Alexander Skarsgard(True Blood) running half naked through the jungle for it's entirety. As tempting as this image had been I was not about to sign up for yet another retelling of the 'tale as old as time.' It was definitely on my rental radar.
So I walk up to the box office window for the first showing this Saturday and am fairly displeased to see that Legend of Tarzan is only playing in the 'IMAX' theater and in 3D- something the ordinary person would be elated at- yet our little Edwards cinema isn't really IMAX. The screen is tiny and the auditorium is in desperate need of an upgrade. And, as every glasses wearer knows, 3D can be a real pain in the hiney. But I shelled out my $17.25 a ticket (almost triple the asking price of my The Secret Life Of Pets tickets, mind you) and walked into the lobby demanding the very best for my hard earned money. After suffering through a 3 minute video of Rhianna singing in place of an actual Star Trek preview, we were ready to roll and the film very much as every other Tarzan story I'd ever seen told.
I settles in to be disappointed, quite honestly, I expected this would just be a nice fluff piece with an extremely attractive actor and hey, at least I'd see some eye candy. But the opening scene faded within 5 minutes to reveal an entirely different 'Tarzan,' John Clayton dealing with modern world struggles 8 years after his return to civilization. The film progresses, naturally, to force the title character to struggle with his childhood identity versus his birthright identity and ultimately finds him thrust back into the fantastical world of the congo.
The movie features an array of fairly short flashbacks which help one identify with 'Tarzan' and his past, while keeping the film very much present day (for the time period) and telling the story of an adult John Clayton struggling to redeem the freedom of the land he once grew up in. Tarzan and Jane are still very much the center of the story, but the 'twist' of this 'Tarzan revisits' story line is much more compelling than that of a film that solely focuses on his youth.

As smitten as I personally was with the film's storyline, cast, and visual structure, I should be candid and say this is still 'another' Tarzan film at heart. The villain and story is a bit predictable but the action, cinematics, and characters draw you in and make it compelling. I particularly loved that this film is entirely family safe- barring the dramatic stampedes and primal scenes (violence) and maybe a curse word or two I didn't quite catch? This film keeps it remarkably clean, though I'm not sure anyone much younger than a tween would find it captivating enough to sit through- this is more of an adult paced movie.
The Legend of Tarzan
I feel like I want to highly praise Legend of Tarzan, and recommend all go see it, or at least rent it- but I do warn that it is a 'Tarzan' film and as such, no matter how much is added to the story, it is still going to feel familiar. The cast does a beautiful job of bringing their characters to life, particularly Samuel L. Jackson who provided comedic relief and a reason to catch this flick all on his own. The CG is a bit cheesy in some parts, but other action sequences will literally take your breath away (which is what you want when you've shelled out near $20 for an IMAX ticket.) In all honesty, I enjoyed this more than The Secret Life Of Pets, a film I'd been looking forward to all year. Share with me, have you seen this film? If so, what did you think of it? If not, what was the last film you saw in theaters?

What Daughter Says: It can be hard to captivate an audience with a character so familiar as Tarzan, without venturing too far fro the character's origins. I think The Legend of Tarzan is a good compromise of traditional tale meets new story.

1 comment:

  1. Tarzan movie brings us back to our certain childhood memories that we will never forget, a story that will touch our heart no matter how old we get. Your review will benefit a lot of Tarzan followers, but not like much of the millennial generation who idolized new character such as the one listed on BuyEssayOnline review who are not really inspiring.