“A lackluster action that doesn’t really build depth in characters or the world in which they live – watch the old Greystoke instead”
Alexander Skarsgård has the classical look for the role, but doesn’t have any of the depth that makes us care about him or believe that he is connected to Africa. Samuel L. Jackson is… well, Samuel L. Jackson, bringing a flat performance that seems totally contrived to give a US context to a movie audience that wouldn’t otherwise care.
Even Christoph Waltz – who I usually enjoy – is a lower cut villain with a paper thin motive.
There are moments when the world looks beautiful, with some grand sweeping African views, but other than the beauty of the view, we again don’t really connect with the character or story.
Comparison to Christopher Lambert‘s Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes are likely, and frankly I prefer the 1980’s Tarzan – perhaps I was younger, but I recall the horror of the big battle scene and the tugging of the heart strings when a key character dies. Watch that one instead.
Issues of slavery and the USA’s position on taking the moral high ground, seem out of place for an even more out of place Samuel L Jackson. This imposing of modern values is out of place and doesn’t really make much sense even though it is a key element in the story.
I enjoyed Djimon Hounsou, as I do in most of his roles, but again the writers took a lazy approach in having a very thin, superficial approach to telling his story.
I try to balance my personal views by considering a mix of elements when coming up with a rating for a film, based on the following areas:
- Respect Source: Does the film respect the source material, if applicable. Does it reward those who are already invested in the characters and world that the movie represents?
- IMDB: The world’s largest collection of movie information, the International Movie Database also allows its users to vote on films. The addition of this element represents the popular vote – at the point in time when I did the review.
- Rotten Tomatoes: RT is well known for offering professional critical review on films and seems the most appropriate way to represent that portion of the viewers.
- Actors: Here I try to consider how well the actor plays their part – it’s more about the people bringing the characters to life, rather than the wider story.
- World: This rating represents the world in which the movie takes place – does it enhance the story, or detract? Is it consistent, or does it leave big gaps? It’s all the things happening around the actors.
- Production: This element considers the direction, production value, set design, writing, etc – here I try to consider all the technical elements that may or may not be in front of the camera.
- My Rating: What does my head and heart say about this movie, as soon as I come out of the movie theatre? It’s the gut reaction vote.