The most interesting thing about the story of Tarzan is his adoption by a tribe of apes and how the wild jungles shaped a human boy into a unique blend of man and animal. Unfortunately, The Legend of Tarzan decided to focus on the later years of his life with the interesting bits appearing through flashbacks. Though artistic in its presentation, the scenes were fleeting and character connections were absent in all the minor plotlines.
The blaring CG effects coupled with the overblown vine swinging sequences tests the suspension of disbelief, but the more forgiving viewer will appreciate the quick paced action and nature shots. All other parts of the film felt like an animal-obsessed, romance novelist’s interpretation of Tarzan with pieces of wildlife preservation messaging throughout. Viewers will appreciate even more the abundance of rain shots not because of the rain itself but because of how good Alexander Skarsgard in it.
Legend of Tarzan quickly dips in and out of the fundamental makeup of the character, offering a “sparknotes” version of the legend and his relationships with the apes and other animals giving little time to develop any emotional ties to any key members of his life other than Jane—which could have also been better established.
Maybe the heavy CG drained the budget, but maybe that has little importance because we all just really wanted to see Alexander Skarsgard’s abs anyways.