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.
2116, 1080p, Rated PG-13, 1 hour 40 minutes
5.1 Dolby Atmos, 2.40:1 Aspect Ratio
Starring: Alexander Skarsgaard, Margot Robbie, Samuel L. Jackson and Christoph Waltz
Directed by: David Yates
Violence: Yes (no gore)
It was a matter of time before Burroughs’s story would get a modern update. The perspective of this rendition is from the perspective of Lord Greystoke, currently living a nobleman’s life in London when he is called back to Africa to investigate rumors of slave trading in the Congo. His wife Jane and friend (Jackson) come along for the ride. The story moves right along and gives us periodic flashbacks of young Greystoke growing up with gorillas. Throughout the film, the usual tropes are brought out; slavery is evil, greed is evil, taking ivory and pillaging the environment is evil…and of course, the Waltz character is evil (why can’t he play a nice guy for once?).
I found a bit of irony here in that it takes a European to make right all the evils in Africa, but in fairness, the story only mirrors the audience and times in which it was originally written. My biggest character gripe would have to be Jackson. His smart-alecky character is the same one we have seen in a dozen movies. His attitude (“What’s in YOUR wallet?”) just didn’t fit in with this period. He chewed up every scene he was in. Also there were a few references and sayings that were out of period that stuck out to me. But these faults aside, the story was entertaining and the scenery (almost all of which was CGI) was Jungle Book gorgeous. And Skarsgaard? He’s got some great abs!
The picture and sound are exemplary. I did find the CGI to be almost too excessive with a few scenes looking a bit fake (ie. jungle tree house with boat in the distance, most of the boats in general making no ripples), and the deep dark jungle at night looking too bright like Gillette Stadium with moonlight streaming through the trees. It felt like almost every scene was a CGI-fest. I like practical effects over CGI, but that’s just me. The sound is spacious and clear with sweeping musical scoring and jungle effects. Dialog is always crisp and well centered on the big screen.
Included are: Tarzan Reborn, Battles and Bare Knuckle Brawls: Train Ambush, Battles and Bare-Knuckle Brawls: Tarzan vs. Akut, Battles and Bare Knuckle Brawls: Boma Stampede, Tarzan and Jane’s Unfailing Love, Creating the Virtual Jungle, Gabon to the Big Screen, Stop Ivory. A BD and Ultraviolet digital copy are also included.