Wednesday, July 20, 2016

MARIAH's TAKE on The Legend of Tarzan (2016)

Genre:
Action/Adventure/Drama
Rating:
PG-13
Run Time:
1 hr 50 min.
Release Date:
July 1, 2016
Distributed by:
Warner Bros. Pictures

Directed by:
David Yates

Plot Summary:
From Warner Bros. Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures comes the action adventure “The Legend of Tarzan,” starring Alexander Skarsgård (HBO’s “True Blood”) as the legendary character created by Edgar Rice Burroughs.

The film also stars Oscar nominee Samuel L. Jackson (“Pulp Fiction,” the “Captain America” films), Margot Robbie (“The Wolf of Wall Street”), Oscar nominee Djimon Hounsou (“Blood Diamond,” “Gladiator”), Oscar nominee John Hurt (“The Elephant Man,” the “Harry Potter” films), with Oscar winner Jim Broadbent (“Iris”), and two-time Academy Award winner Christoph Waltz (“Inglourious Basterds,” “Django Unchained”). It has been years since the man once known as Tarzan (Skarsgård) left the jungles of Africa behind for a gentrified life as John Clayton III, Lord Greystoke, with his beloved wife, Jane (Robbie) at his side. Now, he has been invited back to the Congo to serve as a trade emissary of Parliament, unaware that he is a pawn in a deadly convergence of greed and revenge, masterminded by the Belgian, Captain Leon Rom (Waltz). But those behind the murderous plot have no idea what they are about to unleash.

David Yates (the final four “Harry Potter” films, upcoming “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”) directed “The Legend of Tarzan” from a screenplay by Adam Cozad and Craig Brewer, story by Brewer and Cozad based on the Tarzan stories created by Burroughs. Legendary producer Jerry Weintraub (“Behind the Candelabra,” the “Ocean’s” trilogy) produced the film, together with David Barron (the “Harry Potter” films, “Cinderella”), Alan Riche (“Southpaw”) and Tony Ludwig (“Starsky & Hutch”). Susan Ekins, Nikolas Korda, Keith Goldberg, David Yates, Mike Richardson and Bruce Berman served as executive producers.

The behind-the-scenes creative team included director of photography Henry Braham (“The Golden Compass”), Oscar-winning production designer Stuart Craig (“Dangerous Liaisons,” “The English Patient,” the “Harry Potter” films), editor Mark Day (“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Parts 1 & 2”), and Oscar-nominated costume designer Ruth Myers (“Emma,” “Unknown”).

“The Legend of Tarzan” was shot at Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden, as well as on location around the UK.

A Jerry Weintraub production, “The Legend of Tarzan” is slated for release on July 1, 2016. The film will be distributed in 2D and 3D in select theatres and IMAX by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, and in select territories by Village Roadshow Pictures.

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Cast:
Alexander Skarsgård, Rory J. Saper, Christian Stevens, Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson, Margot Robbie, Jim Broadbent, Djimon Hounsou, John Hurt,



*My Thoughts*
Not a movie for everyone but I recommend The Legend of Tarzan if you like a traditional movie with a hero/society in danger with hints of anti-slavery and nature conservation. I thought it would be just another reprise like the many Tarzans in existence or if anything the 1999 Disney’s version, what with all the new Disney live actions in the recent years, but I got more than I bargained for. Not so much true to the original cartoon version, The Legend of Tarzan seems to loosely resemble the 1912 novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs. It succeeded in getting me interested in Tarzan’s origins from 1912 to the Disney’s reinterpreted version.

The story felt meaningful with messages of slavery, colonization, and animal hunting. The preservation of nature is important to note. Is everything predictable and to the point? Yes. This movie is family friendly, unless guns and knives don’t take your child’s fancy, and allows everyone to see the harm that can come with oppression or deforestation and gold digging. Everyone in the cast brings something particular to their character to the story. There’s comedic relief, a feisty damsel, an acrimonious villain, and the stoic hero. Not sure if the damsel is distressed, Jane (played by Margot Robbie) seemed fully confident in her husband’s capabilities and her own resolve.

As a visual person, the jungle panoramas were beautiful but a lot CGI was thrown in. It’s not like it would be a good idea to put actors face to face with real gorillas or Mangani apes, fictional species of from the original Tarzan novels. The characters were dirty and gritty as they made their way through the jungle but still acted with a sense of pride or sophistication. This reincarnation of Tarzan is more civilized, after adapting to London and despite being raised in Africa by apes, with a sense of serenity from the scenery. Ironic because everything can seemingly eat you.

The Legend of Tarzan starts in his future after living in the jungle and learning about his heritage. I find that many comments bash on Tarzan for not wearing a loin cloth or white washing said jungle man. Yes, he could have been more tan but the forest canopy could have shielded him all those years from the sun light. Pointless notion for the loin cloth, the movie starts in England where Tarzan has assimilated into an Englishman because he was born to Lord and Lady Greystoke, a rich London family. This Tarzan (played by Alexander Skarsgård) was determined to save his Jane and kept it that way. He was neither savage nor a gentleman.

My rating:


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