Director: David Yates
Cast: Alexander Skarsgard, Samuel L Jackson, Margot Robbie, Christoph Waltz, Djimon Hounsou, Jim Broadbent
Plot: Tarzan aka John Clayton III, who now lives in London with his wife Jane and accustomed to civilized life, is asked by American adventurer and historian George Washington Williams to travel back to the African Congo, to assist in investigating news of the King of Belgium engaging in slavery there. Little does he know that an old rival, Chief Mbonga is collaborating with the Belgium king's man, Leon Rom to capture him in exchange for the diamonds in his territory.
Review: There have been many tales of Tarzan depicted on film in the past, though none in live action as of late until now. The last two were animated features, one of which was made by Disney.
David Yates, director of the last four Harry Potter films, takes a stab at bringing Tarzan back to the silver screen. The first thing you'd notice is Yates not setting his film at Tarzan's beginnings, instead beginning his story where the man has accepted his true heritage and now resides in London with his beloved wife, Jane. It is very much a welcome change, though Yates does give the audience flashbacks of his past from time to time, some of which don't quite gel with the main running plot, but it is a mere mild distraction.
From a technical standpoint, Yates gets it mostly right. Set design and cinematography are all great, especially in the opening sequence. There are many beautiful shots of rivers, waterfalls and the jungle, till it almost becomes a character of its own. The CGI and motion capture for the gorillas are quite well done, though when used to depict a younger Tarzan, it looks much too obvious.
The cast perform to expectations, with Alexander Skarsgard making a suitable Tarzan, portraying him as a mild mannered hero who can throw down with anyone including gorillas. Skarsgard has done well in achieving the physique required for the role and should be commended for that. Margot Robbie plays Jane with a large dose of spunk, but unfortunately she still needs to be saved by her hero here. Samuel L Jackson gets the sidekick role of George Washington Williams and proves to be capable in being a useful ally and a funny guy too. Christoph Waltz and Djimon Hounsou however are reduced to playing the same kind of villainous roles they have done before, which is a pity as they deserve better.
Action wise, the film does have a handful of suspenseful scenes, but Yates doesn't quite know how to shoot them properly. They're either over too soon or shot too close. The best one of them would be Tarzan facing off a group of soldiers on a train car, all by himself. The rest of the scenes are just average.
In the end, The Legend Of Tarzan is a fairly entertaining adventure film. It won't impress you too much but it's a decent way to spend two hours. (7/10)