By Bernetta Thorne-Williams (Raleigh, NC)
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The Legend of Tarzan, despite starring Alexander Skarsgård, who was excellent in True Blood and Samuel L. Jackson (who among us was not happy when Samuel’s character finally got his comeuppance in Django Unchained?) was not on my summer movie viewing list. Imagine my surprise when while on vacation in Myrtle Beach with my husband, sister and brother-in-law that the opportunity to catch a movie arose.

To be fair, my husband and I had selected the activity for the previous day so it was only right that my sister and her husband should have the opportunity to choose the movie. My brother-in-law mentioned two movies, neither of which I wanted to see, Tarzan being one of the two (the other movie shall remain nameless because I still don’t want to see it). And in truth, The Legend of Tarzan only won this time because of the availability in our schedules and its starting time.

So armed with my resolve to suffer through the movie and take a nap, if necessary, we headed off to see what I was sure to be a waste of time and money. And just to make sure my initial impression from the trailer viewed was correct, I took to the internet to read the reviews. For the most part, the reviews were unfavorable. Don’t you just love those moments when you are patting yourself on the back for being correct?

In this case, that pat on the back soon turned into a slice of humble pie. I’m not a movie critic, and for me a movie should entertain you and invoke an emotional response. The Legend of Tarzan delivered both of theses in spades. This Tarzan keeps to the historical depiction of a child raised with wilds animals. Because of his tough formative years he develops an understanding and a respect for the animals, the Congo and its people. He knows about hardship, pain, suffering and classism. After all, being raised by the Apes with the obvious differences that exist between him and his adoptive mother and brother makes him an outcast in their world. Yet the young boy adapts. Yes, the movie is dark, but it has a good storyline which tells the tale of a child raised in the wild, his struggles to survive and to grow into the man, the legend that is Tarzan.

Then to add to the already impressive cast is Margot Robbie’s depiction of Jane Porter. This Jane is no damsel in distress, but rather a thinking, strong -willed and independent woman who is cable of taking care of herself and surviving the dangers of the Congo. Together, the cast brings to life the story of survival, loss, love, greed, loyalty and revenge.

So, to my brother-in-law, I say thank you for selecting a movie that was not on my radar, but one in which I thoroughly enjoyed. This is a movie that I would recommend to my friends and family and yes, even add it to my movie collection.

Rating: 4/5

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