The 90th film based on the books by Edgar Rice Burroughs, this German-made animated romp adds little to the century-old canon besides some motion-capture action and an eco-friendly message. But it's a watchable adventure with thrilling set-pieces and engaging characters, even if the animation isn't quite up to par and the plot feels thoroughly contrived.
It opens by going back millions of years to the dinosaurs being wiped out by a mystical meteor that sinks into the middle of Africa and sends out moody vibes. In the present day, investigating archaeologists are killed in a helicopter crash, but their 4-year-old son JJ Greystoke (voiced by Garner) survives and is raised by a kindly gorilla mother. Renaming himself Tarzan, the "ape with no hair", the teenaged Tarzan (now Zetterholm) has his first run-in with humans, meeting Jane (Locke), daughter of his father's former colleague Jim (Bubb). But it's a few years later before Tarzan (now Lutz) runs into Jane again, and she's now in danger because company boss Clayton (St. John) is manipulating her into participating in his evil plan.
Tarzan fans will enjoy the continual references to years of books, movies and comics, including an unusually sexy "me Tarzan, you Jane" subplot that has a surprising spark of chemistry. And the gorillas are beautifully rendered as strong characters with a fascinating culture all their own (thankfully they don't speak). Even so, everything feels oddly simplistic, mainly because the plot demands that we feel some sympathy for this simmering meteor, which needs to be undisturbed for a reason that never quite makes sense.
Continue reading: Tarzan Review
Tarzan was brought up by a group of apes in the jungles of Africa after his parents died following a plane crash. He learns to hunt and to kill for his survival, living a relatively peaceful life until his world is turned upside down by his distant relative, Clayton, who is the ruthless CEO of Greystoke Energies and plans to invade Tarzan's home in search of an extra-terrestrial object that hit earth 70 million years ago. His interest in the object is that it contains energy so powerful, that one small piece could power a large portion of the country for months on end. His life is disrupted further by the arrival of the beautiful and sympathetic Jane Porter, who plans to do everything within her power to prevent harm coming to Tarzan at the hands of Clayton's army.
'Tarzan' is set to enchant children yet again as it is brought to screen in stunning CG. Based on the 1912 novel 'Tarzan of the Apes' by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Reinhard Klooss ('Animals United', 'Impy's Wonderland') directs this epic adventure with writers Jessica Postigo ('The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones') and Yoni Brenner ('Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs'). It will be released in the UK on May 2nd 2014.
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