Movie Club | THE LEGEND OF TARZAN

*I am going to try to do this without any spoilers begin dropped in or at least letting you know when they are coming so be on the look out for “Spoiler Alert” tags.

Hello my planner peeps.  I know that this isn’t really planner related but who doesn’t like a good movie and I’ve recently decided that I am going to start a movie club for us lovely folks so that we can enjoy cinema to our hearts content.  Think of a book club but switch the book for a movie and we are in business.

Once a month I will be hosting a live chat on YouTube to discuss the movie and to share my insights and most importantly to get yours.  This month however, I am kicking this off with a simple review of our first movie: The Legend of Tarzan (2016).

I probably should start by telling you that I went into this with very low expectations.  In fact I think I told someone I was going to watch it because I was tired and if I happen to fall asleep while watching I didn’t think I would be mad.  Let me tell you how wrong I was.

To start off I did find it a little confusing.  Like most when I think of Tarzan I think jungle and gorillas, although I had to Google whether they were suppose to be gorillas or apes, and Africa setting.  While the movie does start in Africa and the majority of it takes place there the timing of the beginning and a short view of Tarzan’s life in England threw me off.  I guess when you give something a title like “the legend of…” I expect it to be more of an origin movie then it started out to be even though you do get some sense of his origins later on.

SPOILER ALERT: The story starts with Leon Rom (played wonderfully by Christoph Waltz) heading into the heart of Africa in search of diamonds.  He is met by a tribe of men that ask for one thing in order to share their diamonds and that is Tarzan.  From there we are whisked to England where you see Tarzan as John (Alexander Skarsgård of True Blood fame) being invited on a tour of Africa and really not willing to return.  Enter Samuel L. Jackson’s character George Washington Williams who talks him into returning and Jane (Margot Robbie) who insist on returning with him.

Once they are in Africa to me is when the real story begins.  While it was interesting to see Tarzan as a member of society and to know that he could transition from “jungle man” to lord of the manor I didn’t understand the reluctance to return until we really got into the story.

For me I think the director David Yates, who also did a number of the Harry Potter films, did something that captured my attention more than the action.  He went for the relationships between Tarzan and almost everyone in the film.  I found the love and trust that you could feel between Tarzan and Jane to be quite beautiful and the growing respect between Tarzan and George humorous and well paced.  Yet I think the relationship I found most enjoyable was the one between Tarzan and the animals especially his gorilla brother.

Yes we know that Tarzan is suppose to have this wonderful connection to the animals of the jungle and be able to speak to them but it isn’t over done in this story.  It is in those subtle moments that Alexander does such a wonderful job of conveying emotion without going overboard.  Not to mention the way he explains the rift between him and his brother and how it is resolved.  If only humans could move on so quickly; if not as violently.  Also I don’t know who did the animation or CGI for the gorillas but it was spot on.  They were completely realistic and I started to wonder if they might have used humans to do the movements and then added the animals over their moves.

Overall, I really was pleasantly surprised.  I would have loved more flashback scenes to really show more of the history and origins of Tarzan and more so of how his relationship with Jane developed but maybe they are saving that for a sequel (isn’t there always a sequel).

I do have to call out Christoph Waltz because once again he delivered a character that you really couldn’t help but dislike.  It actually started me wondering if he has ever played a character that was really nice or was lovable and I don’t think he has.  Here again I found myself just waiting for him to get what was coming to him and excited when it happened.

Another performance I have to mention is Margot Robbie.  I love that she brought a love and strength to Jane.  This was definitely no damsel in distress.  There is even a part where Rom tells her that he wants her to scream and she mockingly looks at him and says, “like a damsel” and them keeps her mouth shut.  Still her unwavering faith that Tarzan with come for her is so powerful and deep that even though you know from a story standpoint he will you also believe it on an emotional one too.

In the end I would give this 3.5 out of 5 popcorn’s and would obviously recommend it even though I have heard that it hasn’t always received the best reviews.

Our movie for next month is: Heart of the Sea.  Be sure to check it out and if you are interested in being on the YouTube chat then join our Facebook group, The Planology Club, or like my Facebook Page where I will be sharing all the information

**All images are from Google and used with deep gratitude.  All copyrights are subjected to their rules and guidelines.

Have you seen Legend of Tarzan? What were your thoughts and how many popcorn’s would you give it?  Share your review in the comments below.