Monday, December 05, 2016

Movie Monday: The Legend of Tarzan

My husband and I have been watching some adventure epics lately, starting with The Legend of Tarzan a couple of weeks ago. Our son and his girlfriend came in the family room in the middle of the movie, sat and watched some of it with us, and then went back to her house to watch it themselves on a streaming service! So, yes, we all enjoyed it. It's an entertaining, action-packed adventure movie.

This is not the Tarzan you might remember from older movies, TV shows, or the original book. It's Tarzan with a twist, the story of what happens to Tarzan years after the original story took place. As the movie opens, Tarzan, now known by his original name of John Clayton (and played by Alexander SkarsgÄrd), is happily living in London with his wife - you guessed it - Jane, played by Margot Robbie. He has acclimated to city life and doesn't intend to return to the jungle. King Leopold of Belgium has other plans, though. He thinks that a visit to the Belgian colonies in the Congo by John would be the perfect PR move, to show everyone how much he has accomplished in "civilizing" the Congo. At first, John says no, but an American named George Washington Williams, played by Samuel L. Jackson, approaches him. George says that he is fairly certain that King Leopold is committing human rights atrocities, including enslaving the natives, and he wants to go to the Congo to find proof.

With George's extra push, John agrees to make the trip, and Jane insists on coming along to visit her childhood home. They set off for the Congo and are both filled with joy to visit Jane's old home and the native friends they left behind. Soon, though, a bad guy named Rom, played by Christophe Waltz, attacks the village where they are staying and abducts both John and Jane. John escapes and sets off across the jungle to find Jane. George insists on coming along, though John doubts that he'll be able to keep up. Cue the jungle scenes, with plenty of swinging on vines (and of course, Tarzan quickly loses the shirt).

From there, the story is a fast-paced and suspenseful adventure through the jungles and rivers of the Congo. Just in case anyone doesn't know the original Tarzan story, there are also plenty of flashbacks to Tarzan's adoption by the apes after he was orphaned and his childhood growing up in the jungle. Samuel L. Jackson even adds some humor, with his usual wise-cracking one-liners. It's not a great movie, but it is an entertaining one, an action-packed adventure with plenty of cool CGI effects and plenty of heart, too. Not to mention Tarzan's abs - wow. It's a fun ride.

The Legend of Tarzan is recently out on DVD (we rented it from Redbox and it is also available on DVD from Netflix). You can also rent the movie (streaming) for $3.99 on Amazon (link below).

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