David Yates’ “The Legend of Tarzan” got lost somewhere between the treetops and the fall to a big fat F. Alright, maybe not an F but a C minus. This film is undeniably one of the most disappointing adaptations of the original Tarzan.Sure, there were some fantastic ape-yelling, vine-swing scenes but everything was so grim – even the green CGI could not salvage it. This movie killed every child’s vision of Tarzan being the funny, cool hip ape-man saving his lass from a menace that hates the ape world.Now, the audience reaction to this contemporary Tarzan might be polarising, but everyone can admit Alexander Skarsgard was game – chest and abs. It is funny though, he looked more of a Calvin Klein model than an ape-man with a lot on his plate. A refined Tarzan? Yup – that is exactly what Yates and his screenwriters put us through in the cinema. Tarzan is a teacup drinking, sandwich loving Lord in England. There is no loincloth; instead our hero swings around in nice khaki pants while his far from 19th Century love Jane is a 20th century feminist.The film is literally weighed down by a thematic load too much for a single movie to bite. The story is so stuffed with ideas of animal versus human conflicts, exploration v exploitation, and primitivism v civilisation that it deflates into jungle mess.It just failed to compel and entertain like other Tarzans in the past. The story does not meet its audience emotionally although it attempts. There are a lot of flashbacks for the audience to bond with the character but the minute an atom of empathy, rises up they flash back to the future. So instead all they managed to do is defeat the crux of telling a gripping story.Basically, the story is surrounded by elements that sort of just feel like an excuse to have Tarzan swinging around on vines while the elements of the story that do feel like they have more emotional weight are rushed and brushed aside.It also revolting that the computer generated apes have more tension and life than the humans; it might as well have been an animated film. But not all is bad. The CI in the movie is fantastic; the apes were striking and excitingly real, while the scene when a pair of lions nuzzle Clayton is heart-melting.Even though it is hard to fault Yates, who directed the last four Harry Potter films excellently, it is safe to say, the “Legend of Tarzan” has too much ambition, so much it flopped. Yates did great things with Harry Potter so this is indubitably a long fall from glory.His Tarzan is too tame to be wild.
- Unclaimed through FASHION billed for ACDA on Sunday
- Start with Smashing One