Oct 112016
 

The Legend of Tarzan is hardly horrible and yet it’s also nothing special in spite of some nice work by the visual effects crew and some ernest performances by Skarsgard and, to a lesser extents Robbie and Jackson while Waltz proves once again as a serviceable villain.

 

 

The Legend of Tarzan
(2016)

Genre(s): Adventure, Fantasy
Warner Bros. | PG13 – 110 min. – $44.95 | October 11, 2016

Date Published: 10/11/2016 | Author: The Movieman

 


MOVIE INFO:
Directed by:
David Yates
Writer(s): Edgar Rice Burroughs (‘Tarzan’ stories); Craig Brewer and Adam Cozad (story), Adam Cozad and Craig Brewer (screenplay)
Cast: Alexander Skarsgård, Samuel L. Jackson, Margot Robbie, Djimon Hounsou, Christoph Waltz, Jim Broadbent
DISC INFO:
Features:
Featurettes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD
Number of Discs: 3
Audio: English (Dolby Atmos), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.40
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Disc Size: NA
Codec: MPEG-4 MVC
Region(s): A, B, C

 


THE MOVIE — 3.0/5


This incarnation of Edgar Rice Burroughs’s popular novels, The Legend of Tarzan is a new tale that takes audiences beyond his origins that began in the jungles of Africa following the death of Clayton’s parents where upon baby Tarzan was raised amongst the gorillas before finding civilization and resuming his birth name and heritage.

The film opens when, on the heels of bankruptcy, due to building railroads and infrastructure, the King Leopold II, in control of the Congo Basin, sends envoy and all around douche Leon Rom (CHRISTOPH WALTZ) to secure invaluable diamonds known as Opar when he and his army are attacked by a local tribe led by Chief Mbonga (DJIMON HOUNSOU). In sparing Rom’s life, and a promise of the needed Opars, he wants Rom to capture his mortal enemy, Tarzan.

Now reclaiming his family’s estate, John Clayton III (ALEXANDER SKARSGARD), the Earl of Greystoke, now resides in London with wife Jane Porter (MARGOT ROBBIE). Clayton is invited by King Leopold II back to Africa as a not-so-veiled attempt for positive publicity to report on the development of the Congo. Clayton declines but is later persuaded to go by American envoy, George Washington Williams (SAMUEL L. JACKSON) though his motivations is to investigate the real reason for Leopold’s railway system, suspecting he is using slave labor.

So with wife Jane in tow, as she refused to stay behind, the trio make the long journey not knowing that, dun dun dun, it’s a trap, an invitation set up by Rom in order to capture Tarzan. Once there, John/Tarzan and Jane become reacquainted with old friends before Rom and his savage army come to the village, kidnap the young for enslavement, burn it down and also take Jane as hostage after Tarzan manages to escape their net (literally). With Jane captured, Tarzan and Williams set to follow Rom’s steamboat and along the way Tarzan must come to terms with the animal inside he once pushed away.

That’s the movie in a nutshell. It’s more or less a revenge film on the part of Chief Mbonga, though I won’t reveal the why, but it’s personal; of course it always is… The subplot of Rom getting the precious stones to buy an army for King Leopold is more or less secondary but an interesting enough aspect.

Listen, The Legend of Tarzan actually wasn’t a terrible movie. The acting was decent with Alexander Skarsgård showing off his physique to play Tarzan and Margot Robbie, given she is playing a limited role with little to do for the majority, was decent and Christoph Waltz playing a villain is almost a given for the guy at this point in his career; I’d be more shocked to see him play and out and out good guy for once… And Samuel L. Jackson is, well, Samuel L. Jackson. He’s a fine actor for sure but he has even less to do than Robbie but has a few nice scenes opposite Skarsgård and serves as a quasi-comedic relief.

Based on the characters created by Edgar Rice Burroughs, this version was produced by veteran Jerry Weintraub, was helmed by David Yates whose career was primarily comprised of the last few Harry Potter films (all of which were well made) and while the writing credits go to Craig Brewer and Adam Cozad and while hardly perfect The Legend of Tarzan at least tells a unique story taking us outside of the jungles, though we do get his origin via flashbacks, and showing a different aspect of the character as well as his relationship with the ever lovely Jane.

In the end, and I’ve begun to notice this more and more of late, The Legend of Tarzan is very much a passable but ultimately forgettable film. There’s certainly some nice scenes and I can’t place much fault on the cast as I highly doubt anyone else could’ve done much better with the material given, but clocking in at around 105 minutes, it’s a fine time-waster but not much more and the replay value is limited unless you are a big fan of Tarzan.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 3.0/5


This release comes with a matted slip cover. Inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy, a 2D Blu-ray and DVD Copy.

Tarzan® Reborn (15:10; HD) – This featurette looks at the envisioned version of Tarzan taking cues from the old adaptations for a new audience. Includes interviews with members of the cast (Alexander Skarsgård, Samuel L. Jackson, Margot Robbie, and Christoph Waltz) and crew (David Yates, Jerry Weintraub, etc.) and some behind-the-scenes footage.

Battle and Bare-Knuckle Brawls (TRT 15:05; HD) is a set of 3 featurettes (Tarzan vs Akut, Boma Stampede and Train Ambush) breaking down these key action scenes.

Tarzan and Jane’s™ Unfailing Love (6:01; HD) looks at the love and romance between the two iconic characters throughout the years and the chemistry between Skarsgård and Robbie.

Creating the Virtual Jungle (15:16; HD) breaks down how the jungle featured in the film was created, a combination of on stage and with visual effects as it was not feasible to shoot in Africa.

Lastly we get Gabon to the Big Screen (2:28; HD) is a promotional featurette on Gabon in Africa and a PSA from Skarsgård and Robbie for Stop Ivory (1:30; HD).

PreviewKong: Skull Island

 


3D VIDEO – 4.5/5, 2D VIDEO – 4.75/5


The Legend of Tarzan gets the 3D treatment and although it’s not the best usage I’ve come across or anything, there are some beautiful shots akin to what I experienced with The Amazing Spider-Man 2 as we get to see Tarzan dive off of a cliff and then swing through the jungle and trees. The 3D itself is fairly smooth and colors still are bright.

The 2D presentation, shown in its original 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio, is nearly perfect. Detail is fantastic, sharp and well defined throughout and colors are absolutely brilliant and vibrant. There were no major instances of artifacts, aliasing or banding making for a pleasant looking 1080p transfer.

AUDIO – 5.0/5


As nice as the video looked, it’s outdone with an incredible and expansive Dolby Atmos track (TrueHD 7.1 for older systems) and from the opening with the African chorus mixed in with Rupert Gregson-Williams’ score to the few action sequences, it’s a depth-filled track that will reverberate through anyone’s home theater and test every channel to its fullest, even the LFE channel.

 


OVERALL – 3.0/5


Overall, The Legend of Tarzan is hardly horrible and yet it’s also nothing special in spite of some nice work by the visual effects crew and some ernest performances by Skarsgard and, to a lesser extents Robbie and Jackson while Waltz proves once again as a serviceable villain. Both the video and audio transfers were excellent while the features are barely above average.

 

 

 

 

Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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