Friday 25 May 2018

Film reviews: Tarzan

Cert PG

Hilary A White

In the hands of Darren Aronofsky or Terrence Malick, going right back to the dawn of time is a nifty way to give your story a godly breadth. In the hands of this pretty but preposterous CGI update of the Tarzan legend, it looks like a glib, showy-offy bit of hokum to catch the attention of the cyber generation.

Add to that Tarzan's ludicrous descent into an Avatar-style showdown, a massive scrap between galactic energies, a corporate militia and, eh, gorillas. You have to lament the youth of today who are seemingly no longer amazed by the simple idea of a man raised as an ape who can swing through the forest.

No, now we get the Greystoke parents killed in a snazzy helicopter crash and a far-too-developed young lad getting adopted by the great apes before growing into the titular, grunting man-ape. The human characters all look flat and dead-eyed.

Redeeming features? Well, the animation does succeed when it's left to nothing more narratively complicated than the man himself swinging around a rather beautifully rendered jungle.

Brownie points are also deserved for the film's ecological credentials – it is raising funds for the charity Ape Action Africa. Not all bad then, but mostly.

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