Review: The Legend of Tarzan
GOOD... BUT NOT EPIC!Which is what this Tarzan needed to be. A little more tension and pacing. A touch of Indiana Jones or the Mummy, just to kick it along. The problem with Tarzan - apart from his 104 year old pulp origins and less than PC attitudes on the part of his creator, Burroughs - is that it's hard to know what approach to take with him. Full on pulp craziness or arthouse eco-conscious, post colonialist earnestness? This movie has opted mainly for the latter with a touch of action. It's difficult, though not impossible, to effect a decent marriage of the two. This version is better than most critics would have us believe. Some overseas critics seem to have based their reviews entirely on the trailers - there's no indication at all that they've actually sat through the entire film.
I've just seen the movie. Wasn't sure what to expect but was pleasantly surprised. I found it intelligent and enjoyable. Wish they hadn't resorted to the Weismuller warble - I burst out laughing when that came echoing through the trees! But the story was solid enough and keeping it in the 19th century was a smart move - the only move, really. No, it wasn't a groundbreaking film by any definition of cinema, but it was an entertaining 100 plus minutes that didn't insult one's intelligence and that has to be a good thing.
I would love to see a balls-out pulp-insane version of Tarzan one day, though, with Opar as it was originally conceived by Burroughs - with a half naked insane, sexually rapacious queen surrounded by hordes of neanderthal-like servants guarding a stash of ancient Roman gold in the grounds of a ruined palace. Along with nasty Russian/German mercenaries out to get everything they can. Directed by some crazed auteur from Korea or Japan!
Enough to upset all the PC film critics... The Legend of Tarzan needs to be epic, but until then, this one will do just fine for me.