Friday, September 23, 2016

The Legend of Tarzan doesn't live up to its legacy

Just when you think you've had enough of 2016 summer blockbusters, you come across a film with a recognizable name, but no familiarity with its source material. The Legend of Tarzan (2016) is a movie which would've been better off unproduced.

The Plot: Tarzan and Jane are happily settled in London, but when there's a sudden danger reported in Africa, our protagonist must visit his homeland once more.

The Good and The Bad: I disliked this flick so much that it was difficult for me to find any positivity from it. I reckon that the single saving grace was Samuel L. Jackson's portrayal of George Washington Williams. Jackson showcased humor at the right time. And his sarcasm was spot on just when you'd think there was no hint of versatility in the narrative.

The CGI was bearable, although given its $180 million budget, it could've been better. The animals were sleekly designed and overall the cinematography was average. I preferred the darkened scenes over the lit-up ones. The venture in its 110 minutes duration, heavily relied on style over substance, just like for the casting of the main role.

Alexander Skarsgard looks super awesome as Tarzan yet his acting was like a muscular wax figure had been given the gift of life. Margot Robbie was brilliant as Jane but maybe more so because she suited the role than due to her talent. I was shocked that Christoph Waltz and Djimon Hounsou, both Oscar-nodded actors, wasted their skills in this flick. Waltz looked more like a Bond villain throughout the picture, and Hounsou seemed like he starred just to pass the time as Chief Mbonga.

The script by Adam Cozad and Craig Brewer was just bad. There are too many small plotlines incorporated into the central narrative. And not only is the movie's usage of flashbacks generic, but its predictability level is quite high, with the conclusion becoming foreseeable just after the initial hour has passed.

David Yates, the director, should have spent more time adapting the screenplay properly than relying on Jackson and Waltz to shift focus away from the clich├ęs that this feature offered on a grand scale. The characterization was good, the action was moderate, but without a unique take on the story, the end-result was a failure.

The Verdict: To view The Legend of Tarzan as holiday entertainment, and not on a serious note, is the only way it can be watched. It's safe to declare that Hollywood has made Tarzan more of a brand name instead of trying to revive a legacy long forgotten. 

The Rating: 1 out of 4. 

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