I’m sort of baffled by how The Legend of Tarzan is currently sitting at 35 percent on Rottentomatoes.com, when Guy Ritchie’s take on Sherlock Holmes managed 70 percent.
Because here’s the thing: the latest iteration of Tarzan, starring Alexander Skarsgard, Margot Robbie, and Samuel L. Jackson, is at least as good as the action-driven Baker Street detective films.
We’re not saddled with a pure origin story here. Instead, we’re given the origin in easily consumable doses as the main plot plays out – a lackey of the king of Belgium lures John Clayton (a.k.a. Tarzan) back to the Congo in trade for diamonds to fund an army to secure the European country’s grasp on the African nation.
The movie’s got majestic cinematography. It’s got a clever female heroine reminiscent of Marian Ravenwood in Raiders of the Lost Ark – and a villain, played by Christoph Waltz, who also calls to mind the charming but corrupt Rene Belloq in Raiders. And it’s got the land-locked version of Aquaman commanding wild animals to do his bidding. Finally, it’s not afraid to smirk at its own pretenses.
Really enjoyed this one.