Review: ‘Legend Of Tarzan’ Is The ‘Jungle Book’ Film We’ve Needed

Legend Of Tarzan Gives Us A Refreshing Take Of A Classic Tale

Stories of Tarzan and Jane has been told since about 1912 when Edgar Rice Burroughs created the classic novel. Since then, about 200 films have been based on that original tale. Somehow, 2016’s ‘Legend Of Tarzan‘ found a way to slightly retell the origin story, giving the viewers a new adventure.

Director David Yates took an interesting route with this movie. Instead of being purely about Tarzan’s first encounter with Jane, the familiar backstory is shown through flashbacks. Doing so allowed for viewers to get invested in the new story while having the exposition needed for new unfamiliar fans.



Breaking Down The Film:

Alexander Skarsgård completely owns the role of Tarzan. He starts off with this attempt at being refined but the facade is slowly stripped away. It’s interesting to see as most stories show you Tarzan grow from animal to man. Where as, this incarnation has to find his true animal self again in order to save Jane. Characterization like this are enjoyable due to the fact most stories focus on humanizing characters. Seeing someone come to terms with their true animalistic side makes for a much needed change of pace in American cinema.

Legend Of Tarzan‘ was luckily backed by such an incredible cast. Margot Robbie as Jane and Christoph Waltz as villainous Léon Rom spent a lot of the film’s running time together, something they used to their advantage as the pair had great chemistry. Other than Skarsgard as the title role, the other stand-out performance was Samuel L. Jackson as George Washington Williams. Jackson bought his usual cool persona which added to the film’s positives.

A big gripe with the story has to be the unneeded Belgium political drama. It felt when like ‘Pirates of the Caribbean‘ would shoe-horn their British Empire politics into a film when we just wanted adventure. Originally this was to be influenced by the Pirates movies so it could be intentional. Stepping back on the drama and adding more action in their final act would’ve boost the piece.

Special effects in the film also let me down. Green-screen moments like the first tree running scene & a humorous scene with an ostrich have to be some of the worst effects of the year. Weak visual effects really stood out due to the rest of the cinematography. Gorgeous jungle establishing shots and great shot composition really made this film look legit.

Final Thoughts:

The film comes as a complete surprise to me. ‘Legend Of Tarzan‘ takes all the expectations for a reboot and delivers a solid film. Summer blockbuster season wouldn’t be completely without hunky men and action; there’s enough shirtless Tarzan to go around but the film lacks just enough epic action.

‘Legend Of Tarzan’ comes out July 1, 2016. The film stars Alexander Skarsgård, Margot Robbie, Samuel L. Jackson, Christoph Waltz, and Djimon Hounsou.

EJ Moreno
EJ Moreno
Who is EJ Moreno? Is he a trained physician? No. Is he a former Miss Universe contestant? Possibly. With a bachelors degree in film and a love of pop culture, he brings an alternative view to the world of pop culture journalism. Follow him on Twitter @EJKhryst and check out his film work at