Friday, January 27, 2017

The Legend of Tarzan 2016

This flick hit the theaters back in July 2016.  Publicity work must have been pretty bad, I never heard of it until I did a search for "Tarzan" on Netflix.  I'm an old Tarzan fan, got started reading my father's collection of Tarzan novels in grade school.  I have seen most, perhaps all, of the Tarzan movies and TV shows going all the way back to the Johnny Weissmuller movies.  This was a medium speed Tarzan movie, not great, but watchable. 
   The cast were names I had never heard of, but they did a reasonable job working against a faint to flaky plot and really terrible continuity situation.  The movie starts up with a very British lord John Clayton in London, does flashbacks to a boy Tarzan being raised by Kala the she-ape deep in the jungle, pops back to the present (1890) flashes back to a young Tarzan whipping Kerchak hand to paw, pops forward to the same young Tarzan meeting Jane, and so it goes.  The flashback scenes are cute and all, but the constant flashing back and forth is confusing, and when laid on top of a weak plot yields a confusing movie. 
   The soundman was only fair to poor, a lot of Jane's lines were unintelligible to me.  The cameraman is still  turning the lights off, yielding a pure black scene with just a hint of  someone's white face floating around in the blackness.  They have a lot of pretty nicely done CGI animals, lions, great apes, wild buffalo, elephants and suchlike.  They have a stern wheel river steamer that looks pretty good although it is almost certainly CGI.
   Tarzan is properly ripped, has a good six pack abs. He looks a little too skinny for the part, I expect Tarzan to be built like Schwarzenegger.  This Tarzan doesn't really look strong enough to rassle with great apes and live to tell about it.  We don't see Tarzan without his shirt until halfway thru the movie, and he never does get down to the traditional loincloth,  he is wearing pants right up the the end of the flick. 
   Jane is nicely played, young, beautiful and tough.  She spits in the bad guy's face, and later escapes from the bad guy's river steamer by diving over the side into crocodile infested waters, while still wearing the ankle length white dress she was wearing when captured.  We never learn just how she avoided or dealt with the crocs.  We see her climbing out of the  muddy river with the white dress now stained river-mud-color.  A few scenes later the dress goes back to being white, and still later back to river-mud-color.
   Overall, not too bad, at least for us dyed in the wool Tarzan fans.  

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