I approached The Legend of Tarzan with reasonably high expectations – after all, a modern remake of a cherished classic can bring new life into something which has been fading. However, revisiting a classic always risks being a sad replica of the original, which fails to capture the charm it held. ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’, you know?
Unfortunately, The Legend of Tarzan tried to reboot a story which was already complete. By trying to create a sequel to Tarzan, I found that the most interesting plot points were the flashbacks to the original story. The plot was irrelevant, due to its poor execution. Exploring the real problems of the slave trade and invasion was an idea which could have powerful and meaningful, if only used more carefully. There was no character depth, development or onscreen chemistry. When the film was at its most pivotal and suspenseful moment, I felt no kind of emotional engagement, because the characters were so detached and unnatural.
The film had so much potential to be great, but was essentially held back by its own over ambitious plot. The ending was ultimately unsatisfying, as there was no humanity in forgiveness or understanding, just a brutal ‘destroy your enemies’ mindset.
That said, the film was very aesthetically well done. From beautiful jungle settings, to costumes, to the array of animals featured, it was visually pleasing.
I’m disappointed that Tarzan didn’t deliver. I wish the amazing graphics and settings were used to retell the original story, rather than stitching together a lopsided sequel. As I’m sure you can guess, I don’t recommend the film.