Skarsgard Is Hot, Tarzan Is Not

Flick is dull and 'dispirited,' say critics
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 1, 2016 8:13 AM CDT

Tarzan is invited back to the Congo, where a Belgian captain hopes to serve him to his enemy on a silver platter. Critics, who've given The Legend of Tarzan a 32% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, argue it's as tangled as jungle vines. Here's what they're saying:

  • The Legend of Tarzan comes with a reimagined plot, complete with "a feminist Jane and an African-American sidekick," writes Molly Eichel at the Philadelphia Inquirer. There's just one problem: "Tarzan is still a story of a white man who has dominion over not just animals but also Africans, and it feels … icky," she writes. At least Alexander Skarsgard is "pretty to look at."
  • The film "is no jungle boogie, but it's a decent swing," as Adam Graham puts it. The visuals are impressive, but the film as a whole is too serious, he writes at Detroit News. Skarsgard "certainly has the chiseled chest required to spend 90% of the film shirtless. But he's sleepy and almost charisma-free," Graham adds.

  • "It's possible, even likely, that more effort was expended on sculpting Alexander Skarsgard's abs for The Legend of Tarzan than on providing good reason why the movie was made," writes Peter Howell at the Toronto Star. Skarsgard's performance "inspires shrugs more than awe," while director David Yates presents a "convoluted story" with far too much CGI. Thankfully, Samuel L. Jackson delivers comic relief.
  • "Is 'gleeless' a word? It's a good one to describe this film," writes Joe Morgenstern at the Wall Street Journal. The film has "a dead soul," "the colors are glum," and the special effects "are dispirited, and dispiriting," he says. "They consist mainly of off-the-shelf swarms of computer-generated animals that look exactly, wonder of wonders, like computer-generated animals. No grace, no surprises, no individuation."
(Read more movie review stories.)

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