Kinotherapy’s review published on Letterboxd:
Oh I remember this movie... er, well, I remember I saw it, but if I remember it is a whole other story.
So sometimes I watch movies with my family, so It gives me a chance to check out more mainstream stuff, I don't push myself to see, and of course spend time with my family. Not being as knowledgeable about films as me, they tend to like a lot of sub-par stuff more than I do and are more forgiving of weak films. But not even they liked this. My sister actually loves all the different Tarzan stories that exist and even she found this dull. Tarzan fails at being a movie, and it even fails at being entertaining
I was happy to see Christoph Waltz in this movie, but I was sorely disappointed. No, not even the great Christoph Waltz who played one of the most devilish villains of the past ten years makes this villain any better. When he's not underselling it, he's screaming as if trying to make up for the character this villain doesn't have. Samuel L. Jackson is in here, just to be Samuel L Jackson. He was kind of funny just as a presence, but he really added nothing to the film.
The most ridiculous scene in the movie is the train scene. Tarzan and his buddies swing on vines down to catch this train in an obvious, oversaturated CG rush of nausea. Theses must be the longest vines ever! The train has to be going at least 100 mph and Tarzan and the others are practically flying! It seemed like they were controlling the where they were going. Why is this supposed to be some kind of awesome scene? You just swing down and jump on the train. You don't have to show off with your impossible vine physics. So then Tarzan gets on the train, and immediately a henchman walks up to him, so Tarzan just grabs him and crashes him through the ceiling. Just without breaking a sweat, he throws him through the ceiling and he's stuck there. After that another guy comes in and Tarzan throws him against the side. The entire fucking wall falls off. This is the flimsiest train ever made, you couldn't sneeze on this thing without causing "Unstoppable" If the wood is that light how come the guy who got thrown through the ceiling didn't fall back down? There's a shard of wood sticking through his stomach holding him up. That guy is dead!
Does this director know anything about vines or wood? I guess not because later these fake looking animals stampede the bad guys base and destroy buildings just by walking through them. Yeah, these are big animals, but they can't just stomp all these structures like it's made of dust.
My real issues with the film were just how uninteresting the plot is. Tarzan and Jane are not well developed at all, and the film loses focus quite a few times. The story is a typical Tarzan story: Bad rich guy comes in to take over the jungle, but don't mess with Tarzan! During the film it jumps around to flashbacks, and forces in this sub-plot of how the gorillas banished Tarzan. This story takes place long after Tarzan and Jane have met. In the beginning we see them living in England and they return to visit the jungle. Most people know Tarzan's origin, so I'm totally fine with this decision, however, it keeps jumping back and showing us parts of the origin story. Well if you weren't going to have it set during these times, then why are you still showing them! Do you want to tell Tarzan's origin? Or another story, pick one. I even got confused during a couple scenes, for instance it would go from England to the Jungle, in split-second, and I wasn't sure if we were in present, or had gone back in time again.
Overall, I wouldn't say this is one of the worst movies I've ever seen. It's problem is that it jumps around quite a bit and feels like it didn't know what story it really wanted to tell. All the scenes it jumps to aren't excruciating, just uninteresting, as there was nothing from the beginning to attach us to these characters anyhow. Not the worst but I doubt many enjoy it, let alone see it.