The Legend of Tarzan, beyond the Abs of Glory

Tarzan PosterWas there really any doubt guys, that this movie would be chock full of Badassery? I mean the character has been trailed through history and the history of story telling as the Baddest Badass of the British colonial non-pirate world.

Don’t believe me? Just read his profile on Badass of the week. For more evidence one need only reference the Disney cartoon version with that awesome Phil Collins soundtrack.

This movie, however, despite its’ Pg-13 rating is far more adult, sporting quite a few adult themes that are very satisfying to the adult mind and eye and libido. Here are some of them.

Beyond this, as we explore the things that grabbed me about this film you may encounter some spoilers in this review.

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There was a very very good Villain. The Legend of Tarzan sported one of the most complex villains I’ve seen in a long time. Leon Rom played by Christopher Waltz, was the kind of man you loved to hate. Not just because of his greed, or his nefarious plot to enslave or kill every soul he came across, but because he seemed the villain without the cowardice. So much so that his lack of fear or rage, and optimistic outlook as to what he was looking to achieve in securing his place in history sold me that he really was a sociopath worthy of my disdain. I cheered when he died, and I must say that is a thing for me, you know how I love me some bad guy.

 

The Love story was intense. We only had one love scene in this movie and that, being decidedly Disney, wasn’t very action heavy. But that did not stop this lady from selling us on the fact that the love she had for her man was infallible. I heard one of the men in our little group comment on how steadfast she was in her faith in her husband. While I held my tongue then for reasons of sheltering ego, I really wanted to tell him that that is the kind of faith every woman wants to have in her man. A faith deeply rooted in the knowledge that he is both honestly head over heels for her and dedicated to her and his goals. It’s the sexiest thing on earth hence why so many books and movies make it the defining characteristic of their male leads. As such it added, for me at least, a whole new layer of Va va va vroom to that steaming pile of oooo la la that played Tarzan.

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Samuel L Jackson. I appreciate the historical accuracy of the character played. I appreciate the strength of the character as portrayed by this fellow. I appreciate Samuel L Jackson, in any incarnation I can get him. I know it was a Disney film, so I knew not to expect any exclamations including his all time most famous phrase, but I still kind of miss it. He did however, find a way to imprint himself on my psyche during the film’s run time, and not with speech either. I find his greatest contribution to this film was the constant looks of bemusement on his face as he watched our hero connect with his Africa. From rubbing up Lionesses to jumping off cliffs, this face said it all. Him and Jane were where we found most of the best dialogue, humorous and intelligent. It was hilarious and I loved it.

Djimon Hounsou is second in my heart only to the great Idris, and even then they sometimes struggle to maintain that hierarchy. Here he plays an Chieftain with a grudge, willing to aid and abet one of the biggest racial transgressions in history to avenge a lost love. Oh but did he light my fire while doing it. He brings with him his signatures, graceful charm and deep emotion . His fantastic body being a given, he made this movie even more of a hit with me. Sweet baby Jesus help me for saying this but, even blind with heartbroken rage I was soooooo engrossed. I was squealing, I kid you not, in my seat at the sight of him.

Now to the reason we all went to watch this.

Tarzan himself. No matter who you are, this guy is the reason you went to see this movie. Either you remember him from TrueBlood, or from some movie, or you saw the trailer and licked your lips in that suggestive way. Yes, there were bound to be epic fight scenes, and heart tugging moments, and spine straitening convictions, and we got all that, but that wasn’t our primary reason. We went to watch him, and he was well watched.

We watch him, from his flashback origin story, to his civilized Lordly life, to the taking off of his shirt, and subsequent adventuring with tongues out. Looking, for all the world and unashamed  about it, like a cartoon wolf, heart shaped pupils and all. While his man candy status is forever set in whatever the strongest material in the world is currently, he brings more than just his glorious V. Being lean, hard, strong, quiet, intense, brave, strong, lean, hard and well spoken along with that body was excellent.

He pulled our empathy out of us with those eyes and that face. And not just him. I give a nod to all the actors who played the character at different ages throughout this thing. Well done sirs, all of you.

Oh my damn but does this review feel serious. Maybe because I’m trying really hard not to be a perv, I may even have missed some stuff but…I can’t hold it in any longer. Much like the lady one row behind me, whose husband is undoubtedly very well exercised since we saw this movie on Tuesday, I spent most of this thing in a heightened state of turned all the way on. God, there was so much eye candy. So much muscle and there were scenes when they were all wet and dirty and pants were riding low on hips and loin cloths were just the most hated things ever conceived. Dear Jesus, I just…it was…oh dear lord. Look, look for yourselves…

See? Even the extras and supporting characters are drool worthy. Can you blame me?

Is it possible for me to give this movie a 15? No? Well this may be the muscle love talking but, I’m going to say it’s off the charts for me. It will be one to join my home movie collection, it was that good. Go see, enjoy, and let me know what your thoughts are. I’m gonna go enjoy a glass of wine with my mental afterglow.

 

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