In Review: The Legend Of Tarzan

Tarzan, having acclimated to life in London, is called back to his former home in the jungle to investigate the activities at a mining encampment.

Synopsis: In ‘The Legend Of Tarzan.‘ Tarzan, having acclimated to life in London, is called back to his former home in the jungle to investigate the activities at a mining encampment.

Review: Being a fan of Tarzan from the days when he was so relevant that movies and television shows would be on all the time. I could not pass up the chance to see this newest incarnation of the character.

My expectations were in truth quite low due to the fact that I was still traumatized by the bloody awful 1998 film ‘Tarzan And The Lost City’, which was for me personally unwatchable.

Thankfully ‘The Legend Of Tarzan’ has healed my trauma, but that isn’t to say that it does not have some issues.

Directed by ‘Harry Potter’ veteran David Yates. This movie sees ‘True Blood’s’ Alexander Skarsgård take on the titular role and he makes a pretty good go of it as well. The only set back is the English Accent he was trying to put on, but I just put that down to him being raised by apes.  Playing Jane this time round is Margot Robbie who for my money makes a much more spirited go of it than the rather weak Jane March from that 1998 monstrosity that I mention above.

Rounding out the cast are Samuel L. Jackson as Tarzan’s new found friend George Washington Williams, Christoph Waltz as main villain Leon Rom and Djimon Hounsou as Chief Mbonga.

The films central premise is that Tarzan is asked to go back to the Congo by George Washington Williams to help him in an investigation. Apparently several of the tribes residing in the Congo are being used as slaves to mine diamonds and help build a rail road. Organizing this slave trade is Leon Lom who has done a deal with Chief Mbonga in order to get the daimonds to pay off the English bankers that have been bankrolling King Leopold of Belgium’s occupation of the African Congo. Mbonga asks Lom to bring him Tarzan.

The acting in this film is fairly strong. The only weak part is Skarsgard’s accent, but if you use a bit of imagination. You can blame it on his ape upbringing and the fact that he was probably taught English by a hot Australian chick pretending to be American. Samuel L. Jackson is by and large the comic relief of the film. He truly has some really funny one liners and the relationship that develops between his character and Tarzan is both very macho and fun.

Margot Robbie’s portrayal of Jane is really well done. This version of Jane is no damsel in distress. A fact that she is very quick to remind Leon Lom of when she tries to engineer her escape from his evil clutches. And Christoph Waltz is fantastic in his role, but I can’t help feeling that he has become a bit typecast as the go to movie villain of late.

One problem I had with the story was the flash back stuff they did to Tarzan’s origin story. What little there was of it was well done, but I felt that there really wasn’t a need for it given that the audience at this point is familiar enough with the character origins that it was not really needed. If they wanted to do the origin. They should have just done another origin movie.

In terms of character moments. The film has a lot of fun ones. But on some of the deeper and more emotional moments. They could have held onto those a little longer than they did. The scene between Tarzan and Chief Mbongo near the films climax is a case in point.

The jungle scenery and the CGI Ape’s and other animals were really well done. And the accompanying soundtrack to the film worked well enough to play out the huge action beats.

All in all. ‘The Legend Of Tarzan’ is not the horrible movie that most reviewers on Rotten Tomatoes are painting it to be, but its not the best Tarzan movie out there either. The only thing missing in this was some Cheetah driven comic relief, but sadly there was not a chimpanzee in sight, but she did get a passing reference near the beginning of the film.

If your after a fun pop corn movie that provides lots of action and some fun banter. Then check it out. The film delivers that. But if your after the next Oscar Winner or a movie dramatisation of ‘War and Peace’. Then its probably not going to tick your boxes.

The Legend Of Tarzan
  • Story
  • Acting
  • CGI
  • Incidental Music

Ian Cullen is the founder of and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: When he is not writing for Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of You can contact ian at: [email protected]
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