Based on the well-known character, the recent Tarzan movie falls flat unless you go to see it as eye candy. I’m giving it a C+.
Taking place after the book, this story shows what happens when Tarzan/John Clayton (Alexander Skarsgård) is asked to return to the Congo to find out about whispers of slavery. His wife, Jane (played by Margot Robbie), begs to return with him to her home in Africa and the people she grew up with. An American diplomat (played by Samuel L. Jackson) rounds out the group. However, the whole trip is simply a trap to kidnap Tarzan and sell him to a rival African tribe for diamonds to fund Belgium mercenaries.
The movie shows us flashbacks of Tarzan’s life growing up as well as his life among the animals. This animal connection is important to the man Tarzan is, as well as to the Congo. Based on the history of Belgium and their control of the Congo, this Tarzan goes deeper with the idea of uniting the groups, much like how the American Colonies united to overthrow the British control.
Danger surrounds the group. Not only does his gorilla family have issues with Tarzan’s return and jealous tribes are out for revenge but the Belgium emissary who needs the diamonds or else his head is on the block is the mastermind behind the trap. Sadly Jane and the natives are in the crosshairs as they are kidnapped. Jane becomes bait used to lure Tarzan to his death while the tribesmen become a shipment of slaves.
Most women love the shirtless Tarzan as well as his romantic gestures of mimicking mating calls of various birds, I found it a distraction from the story. I liked the strength of Jane and her unwavering belief that Tarzan would come for her but she was just a tool. I also enjoyed the CGI animals, even though they didn’t really look real. But the storyline was predictable with Samuel Jackson providing comic relief as the American sidekick. I could only get up a Meh for the movie. I did learn never to go near a hippo. They are mean. But guys, you better let the ladies go see this one.
It's all about the movies...