There have been dozens and dozens adaptations of the famous books by Edgar Rice Burroughs of which The Legend of Tarzan is the latest in line.
This version is a bit of a mixed bag. They do take a good amount of parts from the books, such as Jane Porter being an accomplished adventuress in her own right and not a damsel in distress, and including the legendary city of Opar (without any of the actual literary backstory and with different characters) and couple it to some historic facts about the Belgian occupation of the Congo. With a lot of fiction added in, of course.
Which leads me to believe that money wasn’t entirely well-spent, as the CGI used for the creation of many of the animals is rather subpar. The mountain and jungle views, however, are stunning.
I won’t go into the plot, as our reviews are spoiler-free, but I will say that the casting raises some doubts.
Alexander Skarsgard does an adequate job as Tarzan. His return to his more feral nature of Tarzan from Lord Greystoke is well done.
Margot Robbie is an admirable Jane, successfully portraying a strong female lead that feels like a real person.
Samuel L. Jackson isn’t at his best portraying Tarzan’s companion, George Washington Williams. Williams is one of the characters based of an actual person with the same name and some of his actions in the movie are actual historical facts.
Who really carries the movie is Christoph Waltz as Léon Rom, the antagonist out to see his dastardly plans realized. Without Waltz, this movie wouldn’t have been as enjoyable.
Matter of fact, Léon Rom isn’t a made-up character but based on a real-life historical Congo administrator.
I’m aware his has received quite a few bad reviews, but even though the plot felt a little forced in some places I found it a fun watch. I like how they did their best to portray the fictional characters as close to the originals as possible. But what I really enjoyed was that sense of adventure of the classic Tarzan movie adaptations. That is exactly what a Tarzan movie should be, in my opinion.
So although this may not be the best adaption (Johnny Weissmuller’s is hard to beat), it’s still worth watching at least once if you like the setting and character.