As I continue my march through the films of 1998 a certain undeniable fact has become evident. Warner Bros Pictures threw a lot of product against the wall during the twelve-month span. There were certainly hits and highlights, but there were also a lot of cheap looking films that would be seemed to doomed at the concept level yet somehow went into production and arrived D.O.A. in theaters. The frightening reality is that I saw a number of these ‘bombs’ in the movie house. That includes Tarzan and the Lost City. I tossed down my money and gave over 90 minutes of my life and I wasn’t entirely upset with either when the film ended. Apparently, my relatively low standards haven’t changed.
John Clayton/Tarzan (Casper Van Dien) is summoned back to the exotic nation of Africa through a harrowing vision of death and destruction. He is so disturbed by the images that he leaves his fiance, Jane Potter (Jane March), and retreats to the wilds of the jungle. It’s there Tarzan crosses paths with Ravens (Steven Waddington), a greedy hunter/explorer searching for animal goods and the lost city of Opar. Tarzan must stop Ravens from harming tribal people and from discovering the riches that are contained within the mythical city of lore.
Until 2016’s The Legend of Tarzan there had never been a good Tarzan movie. The whole package is inherently silly, which is why George of the Jungle is a better entertainment that this flick and filmmakers seem hard-pressed to navigate through the preposterous notion that a British Lord is ‘King of the Jungle.’ But this has to be the first Tarzan entry in which our hero dies and is resurrected by a Shaman’s magic, the first to show Jane getting KO’d by the baddie and the first to have the budget to film in Africa. Van Dien makes for a good Tarzan but would have been better used in a film with higher ambitions.
Director: Carl Schenkel
Stars: Casper Van Dien, Jane March, Steven Waddington