The Legend of Tarzan (2016)

tarzan

Another one of Disney’s live-action remakes is ‘The Legend of Tarzan’. This film was great to watch on the big screen, lots of action and a different take on the story compared with the cartoon version.

So we see Tarzan, played by Alexander Skarsgard as a ‘normal’ English gentleman going by his birth name of John Clayton living in London with his wife Jane, played by Margot Robbie. He is asked by Belgian King Leopold to go to Africa to see what he has done there to help the country given his ‘celebrity status’.  He refuses at first but then is asked to go by George Washington Williams played by Samuel L Jackson as he’s heard that there’s some possible slave trade going on, appalled by this Tarzan agrees to go back to Africa and Jane insists on accompanying him.

There’s more than one ‘villain’ in this Disney film and both are played by great actors. You’ve got Leon Rom, played by Christoph Waltz and Chief Mbonga, played by Djimon Hounsou.  Leon is building a railway line and using slaves to get the work done. Chief Mbonga just wants to kill Tarzan for personal reasons… 

The casting is good, I think Skarsgard is an interesting choice for the title role but he does it justice. Jane has always been one of my favorite Disney female characters because she’s brave and pretty sassy too, Margot Robbie fits this role perfectly. Christoph Waltz is just brilliant in any role at the moment, he’s normally in darker (Tarantino) films so I was surprised when I heard he was cast in this but no complaints there at all.

I thought the apes were brilliantly done but the lions didn’t seem as realistic unfortunately (which does worry me because next on this list for live-action is The Lion King). The Jungle Book just set the bar very high for these live-action remakes in terms of visual effects but this one didn’t seem quite as detailed as it.

Overall I enjoyed this film, it’s very fast paced, which means if you look away for a minute you will miss something.  There’s plenty of action and the story isn’t too bad but it didn’t seem as ‘child friendly’ as other Disney films but I blame Christoph Waltz for that…

Perfect Popcorn Score – The Legend of Tarzan gets a six from me, the effects weren’t quite up to the level of The Jungle Book and there’s plenty of action but the story isn’t as family friendly.  I think Disney need to decide on their target audience with these remakes…   – 6/10.

 

The Jungle Book (2016)

junglebook

The Jungle Book, is a story most of us know.  This film tells it beautifully, the visual effects are amazing, I’m actually gutted I didn’t go and see this in 3D at the cinema because it really deserves to be seen on the big screen in all it’s glory.

The story in short is about a little boy called Mowgli that gets separated from his family and raised by a pack of wolves as one of their own.  Then along comes Shere Khan the evil tiger, he believes that no man belongs in the jungle and sets out to kill Mowgli which leads the young boy on an adventure to find his village and be reunited once again with his own kind.

He meets many other animals of the jungle on his travels in this adaptation, such as Baloo the bear and King Louie. However, some animals were missed in script such as the elephants and vultures but they did still feature in the film.  As with almost all Disney films there’s songs throughout this movie but that didn’t bother me as much as it usually does (I’m personally not a fan of musicals).

Neel Sethi plays the role of Mowgli quite well, I mean he’s not been in any big budget films before and to act in this the way he does deserve some credit.  It’s got to be difficult for him when every other character is created after scenes are filmed so he’s got no one to work with in a way, it’s all about your imagination so I think he’s great in this film. The casting for the character voices is just perfect, I mean Bill Murray as Baloo, that’s genius! Christopher Walken is another great choice as he voices King Louie but I especially liked Idris Elba as Shere Khan, such a classic Disney villain voice, just brilliant!

The effects in this film are flawless, I’m picky when it comes to CGI and feel that it’s overused in a lot of films these days but I can’t fault this. From the animals themselves to the complete environments it’s just stunning to see on screen.

My only issue with this film is Kaa’s appearance, it’s just pointless whereas in the first Disney adaptation Kaa is a big character.  To have Scarlett Johansson voice this character for one short scene just seems like a waste of money to me.

Overall, this film is worth a watch just for the visual effects alone and it’s a classic story for all the family. I’m not sure what Disney are trying to achieve with these live-action takes on classic 2D Animations but this one is done well.

Perfect Popcorn Score – The Jungle Book get’s a seven from me, the visuals are amazing, casting is great but I think it missed some key animals and the story wasn’t told as well as it could have been.  – 7/10.