Wednesday, 13 July 2016

REVIEW - THE LEGEND OF TARZAN (DAVID YATES)


The weight of expectation bears down upon The Legend of Tarzan, a film that seems all too aware of what kind of film it's expected to be, and not nearly aware enough of what kind of film it ought to be. It feels scrappily pieced together at every stage in its production process, from the scattershot character development to the various muddled thematic thrusts to the glaring continuity errors. If none of this is quite fatal for the film in itself, and if David Yates is altogether too solid a director to oversee anything so disastrous, the cumulative effect of the lack of focus and insight into precisely what is intended of this product at least soddens this ship, though never sinking it. Alexander Skarsgard is an intriguing Tarzan, though not sufficiently magnetic; the film generally appears indifferent to this character, a legendary one indeed, yet his questionable presence as the obligatory white saviour still sours the narrative. Efforts are made to overcome this distasteful quality, though we're ever cognizant of the fact that such efforts are entirely necessary in this context, and not entirely effective. Margot Robbie is Jane, whose portrayal involves half-hearted attempts at modernization whose timidity only helps to highlight how regressive The Legend of Tarzan actually is. Christoph Waltz is the bad guy, and thus you'll likely forgive him for phoning it in; there's one rather rotten reference to his sexuality that the film wisely (or unwisely?) brushes swiftly past. Samuel L. Jackson is Samuel L. Jackson. Djimon Hounsou is 52 and looks better than I ever have or ever will. ngl, I would let Djimon Hounsou do literally anything to me and I wouldn't even press charges.