Number 1000!!! – Friday, October 28th - Larry H. publishes his one thousandth movie review 1997-2022
  
The Legend of Tarzan
Released:  June 30, 2016
A “legend” is a story that is believed by many but cannot be proved to be true. If that’s the case, them put me down for “The Legend of Tarzan.” I know Tarzan existed/exists because we’ve been friends since the 1950’s when I was enthralled by Johnny Weissmuller, the Olympic swimmer, who ran around the African Jungles in Hollywood fixing all kinds of evils that the goofy White Man had done to the delicate balance of the continent.
 
“Ugawa, Ugawa, you Jane, me Tarzan.” I speak a little African with just a slight accent of the Congo.
 
Before Weissmuller, we had Elmo Lincoln (1918), and then Gordon Scott in the mid 1950’s and later Ron Ely and others have taken a shot at portraying the mysterious and courageous feral child who could talk to animals and swing through the trees because he always knew where the best vines were. It all began in 1912 with a series of stories entitled “Tarzan of the Apes” by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
 
So how does the man from Sweden stack up against the previous Tarzans? Alexander Skarsgard is the new measuring stick; no contest. But that’s not fair to all the other Tarzans because this theatrical legend is big-budget and remarkably produced with contemporary CGI tricks and visual effects. On the other hand, Skarsgard is 6’ 4” with a near-perfect body and he is shirtless almost the entire movie. Ladies, take a deep breath.
 
This modern version that has diamonds and power as the motive of conflict with the gorgeous African landscape backdrop was primarily scripted by Adam Cozad and Craig Brewer.  British Director David “Harry Potter” Yates, at age 52, is in his prime and able to raise the estimated $180 million required to confirm my belief that Tarzan, also known as John Clayton III, was reared by the Mangani Great Apes, but much preferred the jungles of African than his English heirship.
 
I marveled at the new twists in this account of the man of the apes; that’s part of the fun of this movie. The main bad guy is brilliantly played by Christoph Waltz who is at his best as a snide, arrogant evildoer and he pulls it off again. And then there’s Samuel L. Jackson as a cool guy from the US playing second banana to Skarsgard’s Tarzan. Of course, SLJ was playing a “cool guy.” Australian actress Margot Robbie, 25, will take a quantum leap in her career as a result of her steely-eyed, sexy Jane.
 
It’s way too hot for outside sports, so you need to participate in movie-going with its glorious air-conditioning; Tarzan is a breath of cool air. Rock ‘n Roll.
 
Grade 88. Larry H.
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