Months leading up to the release of The Legend of Tarzan, there were murmurs of unrest between the producers and director David Yates. The film was quickly shooting above budget and time was running out. CGI and main sequences were the talk of certain things that were not finished on time. Supposedly, David Yates didn’t even finish the movie off himself. Following these rumours, I wasn’t confident that it will work out. That wasn’t my only reason, additionally; I thought a grittier version of the classic story may not work. Surprisingly, I walked out the film at the end fairly surprised. It’s a far from perfect movie, but The Legend of Tarzan holds some brilliant moments and gives us a fresh outlook on the iconic character.
Starring the jacked up Alexander Skarsgard as Tarzan, Margot Robbie as Jane and Christoph Waltz as Leon Rom, you can already tell that this is an impressive cast. The first part of the film making process is a good cast, and they have that in abundance. Skarsgard isn’t the greatest actor on earth, but honestly, you’re not going to hire a Shakespearian stage actor to play Tarzan. The Swedish actor portrays his role well as he looks the part physically and gives us just enough personality to pass for a man raised by gorillas. Margot Robbie is perfect as Tarzans wife Jane. Beautiful and elegant in her role, she isn’t just the damsel in distress in this film, she lands some punches and isn’t scared to take on people in a fight. Margot Robbie is a very talented actress, and I’m glad they didn’t make Jane pathetic and useless. Christoph Waltz does just enough to pull off a good performance. Frustratingly, I feel Waltz only wants to pull off a tremendous performance when he is being instructed by Quentin Tarantino. Every other film he has starred in (Including Spectre) he hasn’t been amazing. To be frank, an actor of that talent should be performing no matter what, so it was a shame to not see him up his game in this film either.
David Yates has to be given some credit though. His direction is superb, the use of close ups and lighting in the film made it very personal especially in the tense scenes of dialogue between the main characters. The only thing that does let him down is the poor use of CGI. Especially when Tarzan is swinging through the jungle and the likeness of the animals in the film are poorly CGI’d. David Yates is one of the more underrated directors out there, as he managed to deliver us the last four Harry Potter movies which were in my opinion, the best directed based films in the series.
The Legend of Tarzan surprisingly isn’t a bad movie at all. We have a great Tarzan in the sense that physically, he is believable but you are very limited with the character as he doesn’t have much of a personality. Going forward, it will be hard to see how they can continue the story of the rope slinger. Margot Robbie was probably one of the best things about the film; she was the one and only actor to portray Jane and she does so wonderfully and in an inventive, modern way. Visually, David Yates does give us a fairly decent Tarzan movie that has moments of brilliance, but the CGI is a huge let down. Scenes are ruined massively by the terrible effects that look either outdated or unfinished. I did enjoy watching the film, it’s not one I would necessarily recommend to people but I wouldn’t sway them away from watching it. An average 3 out of 5 for The Legend of Tarzan.