Having endured his legendary twelve labors, Hercules, the Greek demigod, has his life as a sword-for-hire tested when the King of Thrace and his daughter seek his aid in defeating a tyrannical warlord.
Following his parents' death in Africa, John Clayton has been be raised by an ape, was known by the name Tarzan, but eventually left Africa and for his parents' home in England, along with the woman he fell in love with and married, Jane Porter. He is asked by Belgian King Leopold to go to Africa to see what he has done there to help the country. Initially, he refuses. But an American, George Washington Williams, wants him to accept so he can accompany him. He says that Leopold might be committing all sorts of atrocities to achieve his goal, like slavery. Clayton agrees and his wife insists that she accompany him because she misses Africa. When they arrive, a man named Rom, who works for Leopold, attacks their village and captures Tarzan and Jane. With Washington's help he escapes and sets out to rescue Jane by going across the jungle. Washington joins him despite being told that he might not make it.Written by
FINALLY - A Tarzan closer to way he was in the books!
I recently read (or re-read) about twenty of the original Tarzan books. I always wondered why we never saw a Tarzan movie that portrayed the character as he was written in the books.
In the books, the adult Tarzan was very well educated and spoke several languages, but in the movies he hardly knew any English and rarely spoke in complete sentences. In The Legend of Tarzan, Alexander Skarsgård plays the character much like I imagined him when I read the books. Tarzan's command of language is competent, and his interaction with other people is never awkward or stilted as it had been in earlier movies.
Some changes from the books that The Legend of Tarzan makes is the way Tarzan communicates with animals. Instead of using words (as in the books), Tarzan can read an elephant's eyes, and he calls crocodiles by mimicking a mating call. Another change is the removal of many of the more racist elements the books had in the depiction of African tribesmen, and they are not missed at all. One other element missing from the books is the science fiction or supernatural slant that several of the stories had. The Tarzan stories that had those elements were never my favorite ones anyway, so I don't mind that they are absent from this movie.
One aspect of Jane's character that was often ignored in the earlier Tarzan movies, is that Jane lived in the USA before she married Tarzan. Earlier movie Janes were often given a British accent and occasionally had a pampered upbringing. It was refreshing to see Margot Robbie's take on the character. This Jane is American, and is feistier than we usually see her.
Christoph Waltz and Samuel L. Jackson looked like they had a lot of fun in their roles. I enjoyed watching them, but it sort of seemed like they were there as "stunt" casting - nice but unnecessary. They were each good, but every time they appeared on the screen, I never really saw the characters they were playing, I saw the actors.
Overall, I liked the movie. At times it was a little more "epic" than it needed to be, but I guess that just added to the fun. Of all the film versions of Tarzan I have seen, this one is my favorite. I think anyone who enjoyed the books would most likely agree that this is the closest to the book character of Tarzan that we have ever seen.
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