As a fan of Edgar Rice Burroughs, I decided to go see Legend of Tarzan. The movie came out recently but sort of dropped off the radar, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect.
Legend of Tarzan isn’t a “profound” movie for all that it has a number of potentially hot-topic subjects. There are underlying themes of man vs nature, man vs man, and man vs himself. Those are there, but those themes are secondary to the spectacle. The audience is expected to feel the wonder and excitement, not to spend time thinking about existential topics.
And it works. Legend of Tarzan manages to tackle a host of potentially controversial content and turn it into a fun adventure. It isn’t the best move (not by far), but it is fun.
I joked after seeing the movie that it was a better superman movie than than the past two movies. Tarzan is a strong, brave hero… just as in the books. You aren’t meant to question his abilities or strengths, just to watch as he overcomes obstacle after obstacle. He uses a surprising amount of compassion and empathy to overcome obstacles… or sometimes just an ability to take a beating.
All in all, it’s a fun movie. There’s a lot of good humor and fun action. Not an essential movie, but true to the underlying fantasy of the books.