Film Review: Legend Of Tarzan Is A Jungle Wreck

July 3rd, 2016 | by Jordan Samuel

Reviewed by:
On July 3, 2016
Last modified:July 3, 2016


This is the worst live-action Tarzan film yet, which is not saying much. Yates offers a terrible attempt at a franchise revival.

The man raised by Gorillas returns! David Yate’s adaptation of the famous Legend of Tarzan is close to release, and our film critic Jordan Samuel provides the official ComiConverse review.

Now I grew up with Disney’s Tarzan (1999) movie, it was the first proper movie I saw in the cinemas, so my love for the franchise is true. The movie blew me away with the animation and soundtrack – and is regarded as one of the greatest movies Disney has made.


The special effects alone were groundbreaking; as CGI was used for backgrounds with 2D animations added making the lush environments pop out on screen. Now the last couple years haven’t been strong for the character with Tarzan (2013 film) being trashed by critics. Heartbreaking for fans of the iconic stories written by legendary Edgar Rice Burroughs.

I never lost faith that, one day, we would get a decent adaptation.

So when it was announced that David Yates would direct a live-action remake, my eyes lit up. Could this be the one?

When the trailers were released disappointment sank in – due to terrible looking CGI.

Let’s find out where this remake swings, as ComiConverse enters the jungle.


Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

It’s been nearly a decade since Tarzan (Alexander Skarsgård), also known as John Clayton III, left Africa to live in Victorian England with his wife Jane (Margot Robbie). Danger lurks on the horizon as Leon Rom, a treacherous envoy for King Leopold, devises a scheme that lures the couple to the Congo. Rom plans to capture Tarzan and deliver him to an old enemy in exchange for diamonds. When Jane becomes a pawn in his devious plot, Tarzan must return to the jungle to save the woman he loves.

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The Legend of Tarzan is a terrible try at revving an icon, as it doesn’t excel into anything else new instead delivers a Batman/Robin tribute.

Directed by the brilliant David Yates, this reboot tells the tale of a civilised Tarzan who leaves Africa to live in Victorian England. Sadly, some bad stuff happens and he is thrown back into his primitive ways which he learned from his gorilla friends.

This might sound silly to many, but David Yates does attempt at injecting some epic into the mix. He just forgets to add a needed sense of emotion between Tarzan and Jane – which is quite disappointing in the era of Disney’s Jungle Book remake.

The Legend of Tarzan falls into a pit of failed potential; the cast are great but never get explored fully. Yates provides some gorgeous scenery and shots that sadly feel cluttered with CGI, which spoils any sense of real adventure.

The film is an old-fashion action-adventure, with animal attacks and jungle chases as plenty of distracting flashbacks flesh out Tarzan’s backstory. David Yates attempts to update certain elements, but he just ends up following dated movie clichés like strong man saves defenceless woman.


Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Swedish actor Alexander Skarsgård plays Tarzan, who follows more closely to source material. He is a loving caring man who moves to London for a more civil life – but is forced to embrace his animistic ways. Skarsgård is good in the role and is absolutely massive, near Batfleck levels of pure muscle.

I like his take on the character – unlike anything seen in live action before. David Yates just forgets to give the audience any reason to cheer on this hero, and it’s very disheartening to see.

Harley Quinn herself Margot Robbie is Jane, and boy did she make me smile! The young actress is a joy to see on screen as she isn’t a girl to play with, I loved how she took the role seriously. Jane’s writing might be very generic, but Yates does attempt giving her stuff to do – but again flops due to no emotional connection.

Margot Robbie is the glue holding this fragile mess together which is a damn shame, I cannot wait for her take on Harley Quinn though.

Christoph Waltz is villain Léon Rom a corrupt merciless Belgian captain. He wants to enslave animals and people in Africa, now Waltz tries his best at elevating past this Doctor Eggman knock off. Waltz is menacing in the role but Yates never utilises that fully, instead Rom is just another stereotypical villain who kidnaps the damsel in distress.

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Rom had so much going for him, but the script falls in making him a memorable adversary.

Always saving the best until last, we have Samuel L. Jackson as George Washington Williams. He is the best addition to this film – having fun the role something everyone else fails at doing.

Samuel L. Jackson is the comedic element of this picture, he is great and hopefully will do more fun roles like these.

The dark tone feels unnecessary when you could have more characters like George Williams.


Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Action is bad, and is over weighed by terrible CGI a strange re-occurrence in summer 2016 blockbusters. Yates was never the greatest choreographer, when it comes to action something that has followed him since Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007).

Pacing is horrible due to a bogged-down story cluttered by terrible flashbacks, something that pulled me out the film. Yates could have left out some of these to make sure, the pacing wasn’t effected.  A total script re-write was needed because the dialog alone is trash, not one scene stood out which added to a horrible pace is disheartening.

Actors try to deliver what was provided in a terrible script, doing their best in a this reboot tied to a franchise in need of new paint. This is the worst live-action Tarzan film yet while which is no saying much, Yates offers a terrible attempt at a franchise revival this is the new John Carter (2012).

Legend of Tarzan is a proper slap in the face from a normally solid director David Yates.

What happened Warner Bros?

Hopefully Fantastic Beasts brings him back into the good books, because this is bad.

So bad.


Jordan Samuel is a Film Critic for ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter: @JordanESamuel

The Legend of Tarzan
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This is the worst live-action Tarzan film yet, which is not saying much. Yates offers a terrible attempt at a franchise revival.

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  • Robert Owen

    Did I read this right? The worst Tarzan movie ever made? This is the BEST Tarzan movie ever made! Flawed, yes, but not in the ways that you have pointed out. And as good as Samuel Jackson was in this movie, he was no better than the other actors.

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