Friday, July 01, 2016


This Legend Should Have Remained Just That

2 stars

Mini Review:

This retelling of the Tarzan story is so tedious, you can throw darts at the bad guys, because you know which one is going to die next. Jane is as important as what’s-her-name in Transformers. The CGI gorillas should have stayed in the mist…

Main Review:

We grew up having read Edgar Rice Burroughs who created the legend of Tarzan in our heads. We loved Mowgli too in The Jungle Book. We collected our passports and took Yellow Fever injections to visit Jane Goodall’s Gorillas and we marveled at the expanse of the Masai Mara. So it was not surprising that the audience comprised grown ups at the first day first show screening of The Legend Of Tarzan.

Alas, the movie is riddled with cliches: Bad White Guys, African Slaves, African women dancing, African chief who won’t kneel, more Bad White Mercenaries, CGI Gorillas who fight for supremacy in their troupe, Tarzan swings from tree to tree to tree with his Gorilla family, Tarzan saving Jane again and again, African warriors and animals uniting to fight off White slavers and bad guys.

What? Animals and African braves fighting the bad guys together? That’s not a cliche, that’s ridiculous. You saw the stampede in the trailer. It was weird for watch Wildebeests in that part of Africa. And they say ‘Congo’ so many times, the writers could have just googled, ‘Are there wildebeests in Congo’ and they would have got an answer. But who cares about facts when a stampede looks so good on film? Plus, a gorilla directing a stampede is so cute! Not.

Jane is as annoying as all women are in adventure films. You only remember the shapely derriere of Megan Fox as she climbs on the motorbike in Transformers. Everything else is grease and weird machine parts. She is ornamental, and so is Jane. Despite the effort they take to make her look like she has spunk: to look like she belongs to Tarzan, but it is obvious that she is trying too hard. I suppose Tarzan does look cute for a chap who doesn’t say much but has a good repertoire of animal mating calls.

Now mating calls are all good, but they stretch the joke too far. Christoph Waltz and Samuel L Jackson have played these parts in their sleep. The one bright spark in the movie is the young African warrior Wasimbu - Jane’s childhood friend (thank God they did not show them play hide and seek as kids!) - who does not say much but smiles that could win hearts!

You come away wishing they would return ticket money when they return the money they take for the 3D glasses.

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