For a character that’s been knocking about in films since 1918, you’d think Tarzan would have greater public awareness than the two things he’s known for. One of which is that chest beating noise (which was used in the fifties!) and the other is a certain exchange of dialogue which never happened in any of his films. Ever.
But one thing I’m very sure of is that he wasn’t Batman.
And yet that’s what this film tries to turn him into.
And you can see why- they have very similar origin stories- orphan, rich, trained in combat, and Batman makes a lot of money. Except Tarzan isn’t Batman. Not by a long shot.
Lets leave aside the somewhat awkward racial subtext and fact that the last semi-decent film of his bizarrely had Phil Collins do the soundtrack (ask your dad) and focus on the main issue. Tarzan (both the film and the character) is dull.
The character has no flaws, or tics or any form of charisma. He’s author wish fulfillment of the worst kind. And whilst the actor playing him is incredibly ripped- he’s completely acted off screen by Margot Robbie -who declares that she isn’t a damsel in distress and then proceeds to get kidnapped for the entire film. Christoph Waltz is fine as the villain but I would have preferred him to be a bit larger than life as villains that Tarzan faces off against usually are, mostly to offset how completely boring he is.
And then you get to Samuel L. Jackson playing a real life anti-slavery campaigner (did I mention the slavery? No? There’s slavery in this film as well.) He plays a comic relief character who could have been completely removed and the film would have been either the same or slightly better.
It was all filmed in England except for a few panning shots which means that one of the most naturally beautiful places on Earth looks like a handful of sets and Doctor Whos old gravel quarry.
It’s also appallingly shot as well. Tarzan fights using the ancient mystical art of Quick-cut-fu, the camera swoops when it should be still is still when it should be swooping and even had my physically closing my eyes at some points as it was making me feel sick. Its dull to look at.
The soundtracks good though. Apparently the orchestra took the Tarzan=Batman idea to heart and based the soundtrack off of Batman Begins.
The CGI animals look awesome though. Easily as good as the ones in this years Jungle Book remake. The CGI everything else just looks awful.
How hard can it be to stick some actor in a loincloth and have him fight against Dinosaurs, Russian gangsters or Ant-Men, all which he’s encountered in previous incarnations?!
It’s a dull, uninspired, CGI slog in a summer which seems to contain nothing but dull, uninspired CGI slogs.
My Score- Poor