HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: The Legend of Tarzan
HTS Overall Score:82
2016’s “The Legend of Tarzan” was initially a film that I had zero hopes for. The minute it was announced people started jumping on the hate bandwagon for Alexander Skarsgard being cast as the titular roll. Complaining that his look was off (blonde locks), the acting would be off, and even casting Margot Robbie opposite him as Jane was poo poo’d quite vehemently. By the time it came to theaters I really wasn’t expecting to enjoy it. In fact, the only reason I even WENT to see it in the theaters because a very bored friend wanted to go to a movie and offered to pay for my ticket. Going in may have been very blaise, but coming out I ended up enjoying the popcorn movie quite a bit. And I’m not saying that as a “just lower your expectations and you’ll enjoy it” type of thing. I actually had quite a bit of fun with the film and enjoyed the slightly differing take on the film’s source material.
Instead of going back and doing the regular origins story of our famous ape like hero, we get a quick overview of how Tarzan (Alexander Skarsgard) came to be and his famous upbringing by a family of gorillas, but the story picks up years later when Tarzan has left the Congo and moved back to reclaim his title as Lord Greystoke with his bride Jane (Margot Robbie) back in England. It has been 8 years since he left, but now he is being called back once again. He has been requested to act as a parliamentary aide for a business expedition, but something more sinister is afoot, as evidenced by an American named George Washington Williams (Samuel Jackson), who has given the man a hint of the underlying problems that await his beloved homeland. Traversing the seas back to his old home is the easy part. What lies in wait for him may test his powers as a warrior and bring him back full circle to his roots.
What awaits for them is Leon Rom (Christoph Waltz). A businessman is arming rebels as well as preparing for a giant building project that will destroy the homes of hundreds, if not thousands, of natives that live the land. Seeing that Tarzan is a threat, Leon kidnaps Jane, sparking a long since dormant rage to well up inside Lord Greystoke, and force him to become Tarzan once again. Joining forces with George Washington Williams, Tarzan must face his past and the enemies he left behind if he is to gain the power to reclaim his wife and stop the destruction that is coming.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=81825[/img]For being as critically maligned as it was, I really enjoyed “The Legend of Tarzan”. It was a fun, simple and straightforward tale of good old fashioned Edgar Rice Burroughs pulp fiction fun. Kind of like “John Carter” it got torn apart by other critics, but was a load of fun. However, unlike “John Carter”, “The Legend of Tarzan” had a much more cohesive story that left less up to the imagination. Tarzan is going back to his old stomping grounds and getting ready to unload a can on the evil Belgian businessman, Leon. I rather liked that they didn’t make Tarzan so godlike in this iteration. There’s this scene between him and his gorilla brother where the two go toe to toe and Tarzan actually gets his teeth kicked in pretty badly. There’s no arrogance either. It’s not like he expected to win against an 800 lb gorilla. It was an honor battle and Tarzan knew that he was going to get thrashed, but needed to do it to save face and show respect. It was quite refreshing.
Christoph Waltz is once again pure magic on screen. The man knows how to play these very “rough” but delicate villains with style. He’s just THIS shy of mustache twirling as he kidnaps the gorgeous Jane and sits her down for a nice civilized meal aboard his boat. Robbie does pretty well as Jane, but she’s sadly more eye candy than anything else in the film, but I never really expected her to be anything else. Skarsgard is the one who surprised me. I wasn’t looking forward to his portrayal of the vine swinging man, as I constantly see him as Eric from “True Blood”. However his over 6 foot frame is bulky and he really LOOKS the part of the character. Not to mention he actually makes a pretty convincing Tarzan. Who would have thunk that?
The problems with the film come from being a little overly clichéd and predictable. I mean, this is TARZAN we’re talking about! Even though Jane gets kidnapped and Tarzan has to fight gorillas and bands of vengeful warriors, we know he’s going to come out on top. Even so much as to have a giant battle at the end with stampeding Boma cattle and giant crocs in the river. Though, as cheesy as it was, the cheese is kind of the charm of the film.
Rated PG-13 for sequences of action and violence, some sensuality and brief rude dialogue
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=81833[/img]The 2.40:1 AVC encoded Blu-ray looks stunning, with lots and lots of beautiful African countryside to make up a large portion of the vista. The waving fields of dried grasses show a nice golden hue, while the lusciously green rainforest shows hints of deep greens, light blue, soft and hazy teal mists and deep earthy browns. The fine detail ranges from good to excellent, with most of the film looking razor sharp and full of intricate detailing from the costumes worn by the indigenous people to the cracks and wear marks on the Springfield rifles carried by the men. Sometimes the movie looked a little hazy and soft, but that was mostly due to the mists of the jungle itself versus the encoding. The mists sometimes banded and showed some crush in the darkest sequences, but never so badly that it caused a problem. It’s a great looking video encode that shows some beautiful landscape shots and an amazing mixture of CGI and live action.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=81841[/img]Warner certainly didn’t skimp on the audio. For the home video release of “The Legend of Tarzan” it was remixed with Dolby Atmos SPECIFICALLY for this release and the results are phenomenal. The film is mixed very aggressively, with a rousing score that really adds to the intensity of the film. Lfe is just raw and unfiltered, with a heavy chest cracking beat that just pulsates throughout the movie. Even the simple things like the rumbling of a river barge, or the sounds of a train going over the trestle are full and powerful. However, the action scenes are simply off the charts. Bass and extensive surround usage just rage around with that deep guttural power that leaves your ears ringing. Surrounds get all sorts of jungle sounds as well as bullets whizzing by overhead, and the bull charge at Boma will have the entire listening area shaking and vibrating with a massive amount of immersion. There’s a few moments where I felt the surrounds dipped a little bit in the more dialog centric portions, but overall it was a simply amazing Atmos sound mix. The heights are crazy active as Tarzan swings through the forest and the dialog itself is crisp and cleanly intelligible at all times.
• Tarzan Reborn
• Battles and Bare Knuckled Brawls
- Tarzan vs. Akut
- Boma Stampede
- Train Ambush
• Tarzan and Jane’s Unfailing Love
• Creating The Virtual Jungle
• Gabon To The Big Screen
• Stop Ivory
At the end of the day, “The Legend of Tarzan” is a popcorn film that has its flaws, but also has quite a bit of charm to it as well. I wasn’t expecting a whole lot and the end result was something that I have no problem watching as a fun adventure movie. It didn’t try too hard to be something that it wasn’t, but it also wasn’t reveling in cheap and cruddy writing and directing either. A competently made film it should fill that itch for a fun romp on a Friday night. Nothing more, nothing less. Audio and video are quite good, and Warner once again gives us a plethora of options to choose from. 2D combo pack, 3D combo pack or the ever appealing 4K UltraHD combo pack for those with the equipment. Thankfully the Dolby Atmos audio is available on ALL version of the Blu-ray and 4K discs, leaving you with the option to choose between 2D, 3D and 4K being the deciding factor. Recommended for a fun watch.
Starring: Alexander Skarsgard, Christoph Waltz, Margot Robbie
Directed by: David Yates
Written by: Adam Cozad, Craig Brewer
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 AVC
Audio: English: Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Core), Spanish, Portuguese DD 5.1, English Descriptive Audio 5.1
Studio: Warner Brothers
Runtime: 110 minutes
Own The Legend of Tarzan on Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack or DVD on October 11 or Own It Now on Digital HD!
Buy The Legend of Tarzan On Blu-ray at Amazon
Buy The Legend of Tarzan 3D On Blu-ray at Amazon
Buy The Legend of Tarzan On 4K UltraHD Blu-ray at Amazon
Recommendation: Recommended as a fun watch
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