With the talent involved in the project and the promise shown in the early trailers, Legend Of Tarzan should be a sure-fire hit. Its story is rather formulaic though and its attempts to implement a number of sub-plots woven in the story mainly fail to impress. There’s potential here for a good film but like the colour palette that inhabits the film, it just feels so bland and emotionless you’ll find it hard to care by the end of the film.
The story follows Tarzan years after meeting Jane and falling in love with her in the jungle. Now he’s a respectable gentleman in the real world, complete with tie, suit and a job. When he’s called back to the jungle he once inhabited, Jane is taken from him and the only way to get her back is to reignite the animal inside him to save his beloved Jane. Its a pretty standard damsel in distress scenario and for the most part it plays out this way.
The film does a good job of showing a gritty, realistic world and the jungle does look good, boasting muted colours and a less colourful version of Tarzan than we’re used to. Unfortunately, this colourless theme spills over to the characters and story which both feel average at best. Despite a stacked cast including Margot Robbie, Samuel L Jackson and Christopher Waltz, the characters just never quite click and consequently the film ends up mediocre with two dimensional characters that never really grow beyond the archetypes they’re given.
Thestraight forward plot does hint that it wants to explore more with its narrative, teasing moments about slavery, love and more but they’re never explored with any intent beyond the fleeting glimpse we get and its frustrating because it actually works against the film that relies far too heavily on Tarzan being an unstoppable hero once the action starts rather than a more fragile, complicated character the film teases.
Overall Legend Of Tarzan is film with unrealized potential. It has the ingredients for being a decent film but there’s too much here that just doesn’t work. The acting is average at best, its story straight forward and formulaic and its characters just don’t really stand out either. This is one Legend that’s better experienced in more conveniental tales rather than this average spin on Tarzan.