Plot: Tarzan, having acclimated to life in London, is called back to his former home in the jungle to investigate the activities at a mining encampment.
I realize that this is against popular opinion to have really enjoyed this, but who cares about popular opinion anyway? I really enjoyed this, and found it the biggest surprise of 2016. If you can deal with the fact that this is somewhat like Jungle Book but with bulging muscles, more humans and some steamy kisses, you are sorted to have a lot of fun.
You’ve heard by now that Samuel L. Jackson is tasked with bringing the comedic relief and pulls it off, because that’s what great actors do. He’s totally great, also not a big surprise, a warrior that has seen too many obliteration of freedom and can’t really deal with it anymore.
Christopher Waltz is good as but perhaps expectantly the soft-spoken villain, something he is excellent at but is limiting his genius when it comes to his work – no great actor deserves to be typecast that way. His one and only aim is to make the King of Denmark really rich and successful, and he seems void of true cause. Djimon Hounsou is a tribal leader that wants Tarzan dead, and the reason is heartbreaking. That, explored, could have been excellent material, but it was thrown down the ravine as soon as they could move Tarzan on further. I loved the look of Hounsou’s tribe, which is in actual fact a real look for some African tribes.
Alexander Skarsgard is the titular Tarzan, and if you don’t explore the nagging questions like how he adapted to England when he had very little contact with humans in his formative years or how he remained so built, and how he’s even speaking any language, you can enjoy the quiet intensity he obviously worked hard at. Margot Robbie is Jane, and although she had the sassiest comebacks and one escape attempt, she just waited mostly for Tarzan to fetch his Jane, and I couldn’t help but be a little pissed off at her.
There were some truly beautiful scenery of wild and tribal life. I appreciated that while Tarzan had a connection to all the animals, they didn’t go so far and have him speak with them – that would have sent this film into the abyss. There were some moral eyebrow lifting to the slave trade. It seems inconceivable that people really justified barging into a continent and ripping control from the natives, and yet history proved itself over and over again that people really did have that audacity.
Like I said, the film was thoroughly enjoyable. It was easy to root for the good guys. No one had grey areas and the villain, for better or worse, was pretty straightforward. I thought Skarsgard impressive, imposing, and very drool worthy. I wish they had given some form of a backstory – the flashbacks were far and few in between, and this would have been a better sequel than a first film. He seemed intense and socially shy, and that worked out fine. Skarsgard was even WITH a shirt most of the time, dramatically decreasing the cheese feast I thought it would turn out to be.
Overall, I’m keeping my opinion that this was a 2016 goodie. It’s not perfect, and certainly lacks backstory, but the fight to keep the Congolese people free from slavery is heartbreaking and emotional, especially if you consider the constant state of current political turmoil in that beautiful piece of the world today.