Tarzan returns to the jungle to eradicate slavery in The Legend of Tarzan. David Yates’s film is not an origin story; instead it fast-forwards to Tarzan aka “John Clayton III” (Alexander Skarsgård) already in England, having won over Jane (Margot Robbie). When George Washington Williams (Samuel L. Jackson) asks Clayton III to accompany him to the Congo, where the bankrupt Belgians may be enslaving the natives, Clayton III agrees, after some hand-wringing. Jane tags along and becomes fodder for the villain (Christoph Waltz), who’s made a deal with a vengeful enemy (Djimon Hounsou) to capture Tarzan in exchange for diamonds. Add apes, lions, and ostriches, and with that setup you can fill in the rest. With the exception of a penultimate showdown, the action is underwhelming: the editing is too frenetic (more could have been accomplished with fewer cuts) and Yates relies on too many closeups. For someone simply satisfied that there is action, however, Tarzan is a rousing melodramatic action-adventure, especially for fans of Skarsgård, who worked hard for the movie.
By Alec Julian & Carrie White