The Legend of Tarzan is a by the numbers, nuts and bolts action adventure film that fails to thrill or excite during its whole run.
Rather than the lush jungle the film opens in Victorian London where we’re introduced to a Tarzan (Alexander Skarsgard ) who’s become surprisingly civilised and is living with his wife Jane (Margot Robbie).
Soon though Tarzan’s dragged back to The Congo by George Washington Williams (Samuel L. Jackson) when the evil Léon Rom (Christoph Waltz) begins to enslave the local population.
Throughout Tarzan’s run time I was bored, which isn’t the best reaction you can have to a movie that supposed to be an action adventure.
The action was poorly directed and visually incoherent, I couldn’t tell where people were in the scene and I’m sure on two occasions Tarzan managed to knock out soldiers with the help of the editor.
Speaking of the editing, somehow despite being less than two hours long the film still dragged on and the whole climax was a baffling mess which I was happy to leave when the credits began to roll.
Even worse was the completely tepid and flat dialogue which was so boring and uninspired it robbed even the charismatic Sam Jackson of any and all charm.
There were one or two glimmering moments where Skarsgard and Jackson actually teased a smile out of me with their banter but these moments were few and far between.
Jane’s treatment was pretty horrific as well, she’s almost immediately kidnapped upon arriving in Africa despite promising not to be a ‘damsel in distress, and spends the whole film waiting for Tarzan to rescue her.
It’s a terrible shame and wastes Margot Robbie’s considerable skills as an actress on whimpering and wailing rather than getting stuck into the action.
There was one bright spot though, going in I worried that the deeply outdated concept of Tarzan, a white man who saves Africa from various native perils and menaces, could potentialy be offensive.
Surprisingly though the film has a wonderful supporting cast and choose to make Tarzan an equal to the native people, rather than their better. It’s still problematic that Tarzan basically saves the day in the end but it’s a step in the right direction.
Overall however The Legend of Tarzan is a disappointing mess lacking style or flourish that I wouldn’t even recommend streaming when it becomes available.