The Legend of Tarzan Reviews: Are the Critics Going Ape?

Alexander Skarsgard shirtless photo legend of tarzan origin jungle
Alexander Skarsgard in “The Legend of Tarzan”

The Legend of Tarzan Reviews: Critics Weigh in on Alexander Skarsgard-Starring Version

Me critic, you bad movie.

So went most of the reviews for “The Legend of Tarzan,” which takes Lord Greystoke from the comforts of England and into the jungle again to save Jane one more time.

While most critics congratulated “Legend” for finding a new twist on one of the most frequently told tales in the Hollywood history, the consensus was that Tarzan should have stayed home.

Starring Alexander Skarsgard as Edgar Rice Burroughs’s legendary apeman and Margot Robbie as a more modern Jane, “The Legend of Tarzan” managed only a 33 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and sighs of resignation from critics.

“Filmmakers, it’s time to pack up Greystoke Manor. Tarzan is dead”Ty Burr, Boston Globe

Alexander Skarsgard Gets Praise in Most The Legend of Tarzan Reviews

The pans came despite generally high marks for Skarsgard for finding nuances in a character played by scores of actors before him in film and television.

“‘The Legend of Tarzan’ wants to be both modern and traditional, hip and classic. It’s a tough balance to strike, and this film can’t manage it. Which is too bad, because actor Alexander Skarsgard … turns out to be an exemplary Tarzan”Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

In a summer of underperforming reboots and sequels (with the exception of “Finding Dory”), “The Legend of Tarzan” was seen as just more of the same, though many critics drew comparisons to a movie of three summers ago.

“The whole thing is reminiscent of ‘The Lone Ranger,’ which bombed over this same weekend back in 2013. ‘The Legend of Tarzan’ is much better than that disaster, but it’s still hard to figure out who thought moviegoers were clamoring for a new take on either property. There’s simply nothing here worth yelling about”Christopher Lawrence, Las Vegas Review-Journal

For those critics willing to keep expectations low, however, “Tarzan” proved to be a welcome warm-weather distraction.

“It comes as something more than a mild surprise that ‘The Legend of Tarzan’ isn’t half-bad; actually, it’s pretty good. Beautifully made and smartly set at the beginning of Belgian King Leopold II’s rapacious colonization of the Congo in the 1880s, this is certainly the best live-action Tarzan film in many a decade (which, admittedly, isn’t saying much) and offers a well-judged balance of vigorous action and engaging enough drama” — Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter

“The Legend of Tarzan” opens Friday. Watch the trailer below: