The Legend of Tarzan (2016) Review

legendoftarzanI grew up on a steady diet of Tarzan as a child.  Whether it was the old Johnny Weissmuller films from the 1930s and 40s, the Ron Ely television series from the 1960s, or the 1970s DC Comics version of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ character, I was constantly being exposed to him. The idea of a boy raised by apes and then growing up to become a guardian of the jungle and its animal inhabitants just struck a chord with me. The fact that he was also connected to aristocracy and had immense riches was just the icing on the cake.

I was skeptical when I heard that another reboot of the character was headed to theaters.  Recent attempts to modernize older characters, for the most part, haven’t fared very well.  (Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Barsoom series, which was the inspiration for Disney’s ill-fated John Carter, immediately comes to mind.) However, the trailers for The Legend of Tarzan looked interesting enough so I decided to give it the chance to rekindle my interest in John Clayton III, Lord Greystoke.

The film opens with an explanation of Belgium’s King Leopold and his failed attempts to colonize the African Congo.  Debt-ridden and desperate for cash, Leopold sends Leon Rom (Christoph Waltz, in fine cartoony villain mode), into the jungle searching for a long-rumored source of diamonds. Rom finds that these diamonds are in a territory called Opar, which is controlled by Chief Mbonga and his warriors. Mbonga is willing to trade access to the diamonds for the capture of Tarzan.

Read the rest of the review here…

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