Movie Review: 'Tarzan'

Apr 26, 2014, 08:40 IST | Mihir Fadnavis

U: Animation
Dir: Reinhard Kloos
Cast: Kellan Lutz, Jo Osmond, Robert Capron

Everything about this Tarzan film is awkward. The animation is neither fully CGI nor motion capture nor live action — it’s an awkward combination of both. The voice actors are neither established stars, nor talented voice artistes — they’re awkwardly cast and awkward to listen to.

The real issue is that the film is neither for kids nor for adults.
The real issue is that the film is neither for kids nor for adults.

The music is neither interesting nor bad — it’s awkwardly generic. The direction is neither bad nor good — it’s awkward. And there is only one thing that the film does to you – it makes you feel awkward. It will also make you infuriated a lot of times if you are above the age of five, because it’s mostly an eyesore in every possible way.

The story sticks pretty close to the Edgar Rice Burrows version, except that it starts with dinosaurs getting killed by a meteor. Not exactly a kid-friendly version then. From here on, director Reinhard Kloos assaults us with the most painfully bland and boring set pieces that look neither real nor cartoonish.

You’re never really sure what you’re looking at because the artwork seems like a joke in the beginning, except that the filmmakers are really serious about showing you the entire film that way. The background characters and the trees look pretty good, but when the human characters walk into the frame, they look much worse than something out of an Etch-A-Sketch drawing. In fact, the artwork is worse than the previous Tarzan movie that came out fifteen years ago. And if you pop in the DVD now, you’ll realise how much of an improvement simple hand-drawn animation is over a low-budget motion capture. Moreover, the 3D here is absolutely atrocious and it just made me hate the format even more.

The real issue is that the film is neither for kids nor for adults. Current generation children have grown up watching Disney and Pixar quality animation and if you present an awful looking film, you’re in for a box office bomb.

Another interesting thing about this movie is that it comes a year before Hollywood’s own big-budget reboot of Tarzan. Since I failed the rocket science class at university, I will never understand why anyone involved with this movie assumed people would like it and that it’d actually make money.

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