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Tarzan Movie Review - A Look at the Tarzan Movie Sequel

Over the past half decade, there have been several attempts to revitalize the hugely popular, successful, and best-selling character in American pop culture. However, most are not worthy of their budgets, time, or the labor of talented screenwriters and directors. This is unfortunately a sad mistake: The Legend of Tarzan, like the timeless Tarzan stories, is simply the greatest Tarzan movie ever made. I say this despite the fact that recent years have featured some moderately entertaining movies featuring the beloved jungle warrior (which, like the original Tarzan, no longer features Kevin Costner). Instead, the latest attempts at revitalizing the character are often bland, poorly written, and uninspired. Thankfully, one of the better of these movies has just arrived on DVD...

tarzan movie

 

The Legend of Tarzan (based on the early pulp-fiction series starring Johnny Weissmuller as the titular hero) is a film like no other. For those unfamiliar with the franchise, the Tarzan tales usually involve an English surgeon who ventures into the African jungle in order to find a young woman called "Tiger" (raising the question of just what constitutes "Tiger" - see below for details). Aided by a loyal group of sympathetic natives, the surgeons quickly take control of the village and impose their will upon the native populace. Now, the natives agree to do anything the surgeons want, including killing innocent children (such as by having the blind woman be burned alive), so as to appease the doctor...

Throughout The Legend of Tarzan, special scenes take place inside of the jungle - which is where the real magic happens. For example, after the natives burn an innocent boy to death, John Weissmuller (based largely on himself in real life) hallucinates and assumes the form of a wolf. He then makes his way towards the village and begins killing people, even his own uncle. Meanwhile, a newly arrived nurse named Jane (Daryl Hannah) tries to care for Weissmuller while also trying to keep her own life separate from that of the innocent orphaned boy. Things quickly become far more complex than the simple love triangle between John and Jane. It eventually becomes clear that Weissmuller plans to kill Jane, but he needs assistance from someone...

One of the greatest sequences in the entire Legend of Tarzan movie happens about 30 minutes into the film when John Weissmuller stumbles upon an unconscious Jane at the edge of a river. A mysterious and vicious jungle snake immediately attacks him, forcing him to leap into the water. He then manages to grab the tail of the snake, tying it up with his jungle tied tie before leaving Jane to die. As far as how this snake got inside Jane's body is concerned, it seems that the locals were somehow involved in the whole affair. We later find out that John and Jane are the same person, and after successfully save both of them, they return to the tree house to celebrate Johnny and Jane's rescue.

Five minutes later, the two are alone in the jungle when suddenly the jungle suddenly erupts with monkeys. The two run for their lives, only to get knocked to the ground by an enormous monkey. A heavily armed and armored female monkey charges them and attempts to rape Johnny Weissmuller, who easily shoves the monkey away. This monkey then proceeds to smash through a large portion of the roof of the tree house and enters the main room. A heavily armed and extremely courageous John Weissmuller then enters the jungle to battle the monkey. Finally, the weakened monkey flees across a bridge towards a waiting Jane and calmly tells her about his past.

It is revealed that Johnny Weissmuller was actually the last remaining member of an expedition that went awry because of a large gorilla presence. The group had decided to go on a trip to obtain wood to build a village. When they arrived at the jungle, they noticed that the entire town had been wiped out. Everyone but Johnny and Jane had perished, and the rest were captured and left to die. As a result of this terrible tragedy, they now know they must protect the world and take care of those left behind if they ever want to return to Earth.

Five minutes after the credits begin to roll we get another incredible montage. This time we see Jane and Johnny as children, and we watch their adventures as they play in the jungle. The climatic fight between theape man and Johnny ends with the latter barely escaping capture.

We then flash forward five years to the present day, and Johnny Weissmuller becomes a father and settles down into an existence of his own. Five minutes later, Johnny and Jane are seen sitting on the side of the road, where they're approached by two men who want to borrow money from them. While they initially think it's a game, they soon find themselves tied up with the pair as they are forced to go on a dangerous road trip.