THE LEGEND OF TARZAN
Alexander Skarsgard and Margot Robbie swing into theaters this weekend with a new take on the classic tale of Tarzan in “The Legend of Tarzan”.
John Clayton (Alexander Skarsgard) the Lord of Greystoke, after being orphaned in the jungles of Africa and raised by apes, he has finally become acclimated to life as an aristocrat in England. His wife Jane (Margot Robbie), missing her friends back in the Congo spends her time teaching children about animals. An offer for John to return to the Congo arrives to see what King Leopold of Belgium has done with his old homeland, inspecting railroads, housing and see how the natives are being treated. Clayton will be accompanied by Jane and American war veteran George Washington Williams (Samuel L. Jackson).
Leon Rom (Christoph Waltz), Leopold’s liaison to the Congo and leader of a mercenary army ready to strip the region of its diamonds and enslave its population. Rom makes a deal with local Chief Mbonga (Djimon Hounsou) to deliver Tarzan to him in exchange for a case of diamonds that King Leopold needs to pay the army and bail out Belgium. Mbonga’s son killed an ape as a right of passage, unknowingly it was the same ape that raised Tarzan from a baby. Tarzan retaliated and killed the boy. Now Mbonga wants revenge.
Rom lays a trap for the returning hero of Africa only to be out smarted by Tarzan. John, Jane and George jumped ship early to make their way to the old village where Jane grew up and first met the boy from the jungle. Greeted by their friends and welcomed back into the tribe that Jane taught to speak English, they are informed all is not well in the Congo. Clayton and Williams learn about natives abducted into slavery to build bridges for the railroad and others murdered. Rom and a group of soldiers invade the village, setting fire to the huts and murdering the Chief. He captures John/Tarzan and takes Jane as well. George, a crack shot is able to get the soldiers dragging Tarzan to the boat, but Rom escapes with Jane. Rom confronts Jane with a carefree attitude explaining, “He is Tarzan, you’re Jane…He’ll come for you.”
Tarzan goes native and decides to cross through the Congo to intercept the boat carrying Jane and will take him through the mountains we he lived with the apes. Tarzan is confronted by his “brother” now leader of the apes and ready to fight for dominance. Tarzan is beaten and bloody, but survives to continue tracking Rom. Next Williams and Tarzan come face to face with Mbonga and a hundred tribesmen ready to kill Tarzan. Rom takes the Diamonds and Jane down the river to meet his mercenary army and take over Africa. Tarzan beats half the tribe single handed with George covering with a rifle. Mbonga knows he is beaten when Tarzan’s apes show up as reinforcements. Tarzan explains that Rom is the enemy to all of Africa and he will kill Mbonga’s tribe and take your land and diamonds.
Will Tarzan stop Rom from paying the army and conquering the Congo? Will Jane survive? You will have to go to the theater this weekend to find out!
I enjoyed this version of Tarzan. It was nice to tell the back story in flashbacks during the film and starting Clayton in England. This is like the Tarzan Homecoming. The other aspect of the film I really enjoyed was using two characters out of history that were actually part of the Belgium expansion into the Congo (Rom and George Washington Williams). The movie is breathtaking and features some great fights and animal scenes. The amazing thing is that it is almost completely done with special effects, green screen with the African village filmed off the sound stage. You can see that it is set up to be seen in 3D, we were treated to the 2D version and it was great. The only thing I can say negatively about The Legend of Tarzan is it is a bit too long and would be perfect with about 15 mins trimmed from it. That being said, The Legend of Tarzan is still a great film and should be seen on the big screen.
Swing into theater this weekend and go ape over this latest version of Tarzan!!!
Rated PG-13 Violence
Running Time 109 mins