This is far from the first time that Tarzan has hit the big screen. He is one of the earliest characters to find his way on television and into cinema. He is a part of American Mythology. He is one of our earliest heroes like Zorro and The Lone Ranger. This might be part of the problem. We will revisit that concept later.
This time around we join an older Tarzan who lives in his family home with his wife Jane. London is far from the African Congo, but when he is asked to be a special emissary he is called to return. The wild lands have been corrupted by greed and slavery. The home Tarzan left is different than the one he has returned to. When Jane is taken to lure him into a trap, he enlist the help of Samuel L. Jackson to save both his wife and the land he loves.
When you watch the film, it is hard to believe that it was mostly shot on sound stages. It looks really solid. Obviously swinging through the jungles requires heavy CGI, but the it's the animals that look the best. The interaction between real and computer generated characters is top notch. It is truly something to appreciate visually. The problem is an odd one. The leads. Alexander Skarsgard looks the part, but doesn't have much dialogue. Margot Robbie does her best to not be a typical damsel in distress, but that is Jane. Samuel Jackson has the most dialogue and is the most expressive. He is almost too Nick Fury for the time period. His character is based on a real person.
Christoph Waltz is a good bad guy. He is a liar, a cheat, and need diamonds to purchase an army. His goal is to enslave people for his monarch. Simple. The problem is simple. The plot is simple and drags. Tarzan's origin is covered nicely in flashback. It is a nice movie. It's a little long, but not complex at all. Tarzan suffers from a problem of relativity. He is a hero of a different time. He is your grand parent's hero. I think the movie is great, but I am not sure today's movie goer was begging to see a man swing through the jungle. He might look incredible doing it, but it's a tough sell.