Tarzan (2014) – Review

4 Stars

Edgar Rice Burrows legendary literary and film character Tarzan has been given a modern update and a splendid look in the technologically advance new animated film. This version cast the king of the jungle as a Bruce Wayne type figure, orphaned and alone after the death of his parents the child is taken in by the primitive apes who rule the landscape. He grows into a wild thing with no education other than the laws of nature, Tarzan is introduced to a teenaged Jane and the mutual attraction blossoms from there.

This reboot is aimed at children but not in the same vein as the 1999 Disney version. There are no singing animals or dance sequences, just a couple of nice tunes from Coldplay on the soundtrack and some dazzling motion-capture animation work. There is action and much violence as Tarzan saves Jane and himself from the jungle predators, animal and man. While the visuals have been updated and the story reflects the advances in technology since Burrows books were released, the script still finds a moment to deliver the infamous line, “Me Tarzan, You Jane”.

Prospects for a wide theatrical distribution in American look doubtful, which means most families will never see this truly enchanting family film. In a year when Frozen, Despicable Me 2 and numerous other and lesser fare are dominating the multiplexes there is no room for an import to make a dent. So this gem will most likely be relegated to the Redbox kiosks or Netflix streaming, where cynical and uniformed minds will associate the lack of marketing or brand name distributor as a sign of inferiority. That is a shame, Tarzan is the best family film of the year.

Director: Reinhard Klooss
Stars: Kellan Lutz, Robert Capron, Jaime Ray Newman

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