Switch branches/tags
Nothing to show
Find file Copy path
Fetching contributors…
Cannot retrieve contributors at this time
38 lines (37 sloc) 4.72 KB
this is the kind of movie that makes one appreciate disney's live- action george of the jungle .
tarzan and the lost city , the latest attempt to bring edgar rice burrough's legendary hero to the big screen , is one of the most inept and ill-timed of any tarzan adventure so far .
badly conceived and poorly executed , tarzan and the lost city appears headed for a quick trip to video store shelves .
i have no idea why the producers chose now to bring back tarzan ; it's not as if there are legions of new fans clamoring for his next movie .
furthermore , it's even more curious that this film is rated pg , which , by definition , rules out any sex or explicit violence .
and , while i'm not advocating the excesses embraced by the 1981 bo derek version of the story , tarzan deserves a slightly more adult approach than the one used in the embarrassing production .
of course , no tweaking of the content to change the rating could have saved tarzan and the lost city , since the film's troubles originated with the script and were propagated all the way down the line .
imagine george of the jungle stripped of all ( intentional ) humor , and you have a fair idea of what this tarzan is like .
with its uninspired action and tepid adventure sequences , the film barely registers a pulse .
anyone in search of a relatively entertaining , family jungle adventure should check out the 1994 version of the jungle book , which uses the same basic elements to much better effect .
the only worthwhile element of tarzan and the lost city is the pretty scenery ( which , unfortunately , includes the two lead actors ) .
the film doesn't attempt to re-tell the origin story ? the thinking is that it has been done often enough .
instead , tarzan and the lost city introduces us to lord graystoke a . k . a . john clayton a . k . a . tarzan the ape man ( casper van dien ) several days before his marriage to lady jane porter ( jane march ) .
he is living happily in england , enjoying the benefits of being a land-owning noble .
meanwhile , in central africa , the dastardly nigel ravens ( steven waddington ) , a self-proclaimed scholar and explorer , believes he has found the way to the lost city of opar , which he calls the cradle of civilization .
on the way there , he and his band of mercenaries do all sorts of nasty things , like burning native villages , to earn the wrath of the locals .
one shaman , determined to stop ravens from unearthing opal , sends a mystical message to tarzan for help .
with lady jane following close behind , he returns to the jungle where he was born .
its patently obvious that casper van dien ( one of the pretty-boy heroes of starship troopers ) was not hired on the basis of his acting ability .
with his plastic facial expressions , monotone voice , and complete inability to make convincing animal noises , his range rivals that of steven seagal .
his pecs , however , are impressive , and director carl schenkel makes sure that he is given every opportunity to show them off .
jane march , on the other hand , has to keep her shirt on , which may be a first for her .
some six years ago , march give a solid performance in jean jacques annaud's steamy the lover .
since then , she made the career-killing decision of appearing opposite bruce willis in the color of night , which exploited her every acting defiency .
tarzan continues this trend .
march may be attractive , but , at least judging by this performance , she can't act .
meanwhile , steven waddington has serious trouble summoning up the menace necessary to be a really detestable bad guy .
instead , he turns out to be little more than a nuisance .
the story line is pure formula , which has largely been true throughout the years for almost all of the tarzan movies .
the problem is that this one seems so childish and lifeless .
the romantic elements are all contrived ? in fact , lady jane's presence is necessary only so she can be captured and subsequently rescued by her buff fiance .
the special effects are truly bottom-of-the-barrel ( including some laughably bad men in ape costumes ? apparently , animatronics were too expensive for this production ) .
and , of course , as with all jungle movies , there are the obligatory cute animals .
over the years , the legend of tarzan has been one of the most popular sources for film series material .
the most famous ape man was johnny weismuller , but no less than two dozen other actors have essayed the part ( including gordon scott , who is widely believed to be the best actor to tackle the role ) .
weismuller made 12 tarzan features ; van dien will probably fall 11 short of that number .
and , having seen tarzan and the lost city , i would argue that the movie-going public would have been well served if he had missed by 12 .