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Film / The Legend Of Tarzan 2016

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"He's Tarzan, you're Jane. He'll come for you."
The Legend of Tarzan is a film in the Tarzan franchise created by Edgar Rice Burroughs, directed by David Yates. Produced by Warner Bros., it was released in July 2016. It stars Alexander Skarsgård as Tarzan and Margot Robbie as Jane. The cast also includes Samuel L. Jackson, Christoph Waltz, Djimon Hounsou, and Jim Broadbent.
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Eight years have passed since Tarzan, the man raised by apes, left the African jungle for his ancestral home England. He has since married his discoverer Jane Porter and adopted his birth name and hereditary title: John Clayton, Lord Greystoke. Now he has been sent back to Africa on a mission for the British Parliament, unaware that he is a pawn in a larger conspiracy. When evil forces endanger his old home and those he loves, he becomes the legendary Lord of the Jungle again.

Shares its name with an animated TV series, a Spin-Off of the 1999 Disney film.

Trailer 1, Trailer 2.


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Tropes in the film include:

  • Adaptation Name Change: The friendly Waziri tribe is renamed the Kuba.
  • Adaptational Wimp: A downplayed example with Tarzan. He's still capable of taking down any man in his path and is quite able to endure a great deal of punishment. However, he's most notably not able to defeat apes in battle like past versions of the character have been able to. Possibly justified as he was out of his element for too long.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The Japanese version of the film uses "Nawe, Nawe" by Alexandros as its theme song.
  • Animal Stampede: At the climax of the film, Tarzan stampedes a herd of wildebeest (with a few lions mixed in) through the city of Boma.
  • The Atoner: George Williams tells Tarzan that he spent several years as a mercenary in Mexico and the U. S. frontier after his U.S. Civil War tour of duty. By his admission he was no different than the people being recruited to subjugate the Congo.
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  • Babies Ever After: Tarzan and Jane have a baby in a one-year-later epilogue.
  • Badass Boast: Jane delivers one to Rom on Tarzan's behalf:
    Jane: A normal man can do the impossible to save the woman he loves. My husband is no normal man.
  • Barbarian Longhair: Tarzan has long unkempt hair in flashback scenes, but it's downplayed in present-day scenes after he becomes a English gentleman, as his hair is slightly trimmed to shoulder-length.
  • Battle in the Rain: The fight between Rom's mercenaries and the great apes takes place during a downpour.
  • Battle Strip: Tarzan actually spends most of the movie in hiking clothes, but strips to just his trousers when he's about to fight his ape brother.
  • Big Bad: Captain Leon Rom, named after the real life historical figure, is the film's villain.
  • Blue Blood: Tarzan is also Lord Greystoke.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Tarzan's upbringing has given him amazing strength making him able to lift fully grown men with one arm and toss them around.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Tarzan's ability to mimic mating calls.
  • Composite Character: Chief Mbonga's tribe is combined with the Oparians, with Mbonga himself seeming like a member of the Leopard Man cult from the pelt he wears and his claw-like weaponry.
  • Cycle of Revenge: Ultimately the true cause of the events of the film. Chief Mbonga's son killed Tarzan's ape mother, and Tarzan killed him in retaliation. In exchange for the diamonds of Opar, Leon Rom must give Tarzan to Mbonga so he may finally get his revenge. Tarzan and Williams are only able to break the cycle by convincing Mbonga of the danger of allowing Rom to succeed.
  • Damsel in Distress: Jane is taken captive by Captain Léon Rom (Waltz) and his mercenaries. Eventually, she takes advantage of this, resulting in the tribes allying against Rom.
  • Damsel out of Distress: Jane tries to escape, and although she eventually is caught again, gets very far.
  • Darkest Africa: This being a Tarzan movie, Congo, naturally, is portrayed in this manner.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Both Jane and Tarzan himself, but especially Jane, who, after being caught by Rom, constantly snarks at him.
  • Death by Adaptation:
    • Muviro is killed by Rom in contrast to the books where he is still alive by the time Tarzan and Jane's son Korak is full grown and he still leads his warriors.
    • Leon Rom died in 1924 at the age of sixty-four, not in 1889 at the age of thirty.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Tarzan goes barefoot after returning to the jungle.
  • Famed In-Story: Tarzan and Jane. Williams' pitch to Tarzan to take up Leopold's offer to tour the Congo leans heavily on Tarzan's publicity value.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Rom acts polite and friendly, but he's a bigot who wishes to enslave all non-whites in Congo.
  • Foreshadowing: The first time we see Jane, she's telling a rapt group of childen that a hippo "can snap a crocodile's back with a single bite". So later on, when Jane and Wasimbu swim through a river filled with hippos to escape from Rom, the audience knows just how much danger they're in.
    • On their first night in Muviro's village, Jane is listening to several jungle calls and identifying each one as a "mating call" right before she and Tarzan engage in a mating ritual of their own. Tarzan later uses a "mating call"—and identifies it as such— to turn Rom into Just Desserts.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: King Leopold II of Belgium; Truth in Television, unfortunately.
  • Historical-Domain Character:
  • Historical Fiction: Unlike most Tarzan media, this incarnation plays it up by linking the story to real events. The colonial affairs of the Congo Free State, a precursor to the Belgian Congo personally owned by the king of Belgium, form the backdrop to the film.
  • I Have Your Wife: Subverted. Rom kidnaps Jane knowing Tarzan will come for her, though it is Tarzan, not him, who actually quotes this trope.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Rom uses a weaponized rosary to garotte his foes.
  • Instant Knots: Rom is able to do this with Madagascar spider silk rosary, getting it to wrap around and grapple whatever target he chooses; such as Jane's wrist during dinner, or Tarzan's throat during the final fight.
  • Ironic Echo: Jane, early on, hears a number of animals' mating calls, which she repeatedly mentions as mating calls. Tarzan uses this in the final battle to summon a group of crocodiles to kill Leon Rom.
  • Just Desserts: Rom gets devoured by crocodiles at the end.
  • Killer Gorilla: In this version (just like in the book) the tribe of great apes kill Tarzan's father. They are explicitly called the Mangani and distinguished from gorillas.
  • Kick the Dog: Rom, after promising Jane not to shoot the apes after encountering them, orders his soldiers to do it anyway.
  • Like a Son to Me: A tribal chief refers to Jane as his "American daughter". Her biological father Professor Porter is briefly mentioned but unseen.
  • Light Is Not Good: Léon Rom wears white all the time and is involved in slavery.
  • The Load: Tarzan treats George this way when the latter insists on coming along to help rescue Jane and the kidnapped tribe members, but ends up being grateful George tagged along not long after.
  • Loincloth: Absent in flashback scenes as Tarzan is naked, and in present-day jungle scenes Tarzan wears knee-length pants (breeches). The loin-cloth returns in the film's final scenes.
  • Made of Iron: Tarzan takes a LOT of punishment in the course of the film, from getting savagely pummeled and bitten by his ape brother, getting stabbed by one of Mbonga's men, getting shot, and finally almost getting strangled by a rosary, without getting slowed down one bit. After all of that, it's a miracle he hasn't collapsed from all the punishment he's taken.
  • Mighty Whitey: Tarzan is on good terms with one of the local tribes and near the end he seemingly establishes a Defeat Means Friendship relationship with Chief Mbonga and his tribe. However, the film makes an effort to downplay this as the tribes are treated as equals, and Jane's backstory is changed so that she grew up in Africa among the former tribe. Also, whereas past incarnations of Tarzan are able to defeat apes in battle, this version of Tarzan is unable to do so.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Not just Tarzan but just about every main male character is attractive from the fit African tribal men to the well dressed Samuel L. Jackson and Waltz.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Jane, who is played by Margot Robbie, and gets a wet dress.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Rom tells Jane: "He's Tarzan, you're Jane. He'll come for you." George also outright says "Me Tarzan, You Jane" in an attempt to get Tarzan back to Africa.
    • Tarzan's yell in this movie sounds almost, but not quite, like Johnny Weissmuller's famous yodel in the 1930s films. Rom lampshades this by remarking that he recognizes the call but it doesn't sound exactly like he expected.
    • Though they're never mentioned via name, in a flashback Tarzan is obviously saving a smaller ape from Sheeta, and in present day meets up once again with Tantor and his herd.
    • Tarzan has a final battle with the film's villain Rom on a boat, which inevitably explodes. Similar to an unused sequence from Disney's own Tarzan film.
  • Naked First Impression: When Tarzan and Jane first meet as teenagers, since his loincloth is absent.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: Several man-eating crocodiles appear in the finale but Tarzan is able to use a mating call to lure them to eat Rom.
  • No, Mister Bond, I Expect You to Dine: Rom invites Jane to dine with him while she is his captive on his riverboat; with the understanding that if she refuses, he will drop her friend into the river to be eaten by crocodiles.
  • No-Sell: Tarzan is already losing his fight with Akut when he whacks him with a pretty hefty club. The only sign Akut gives of the blow even landing is to kick Tarzan's ass much more thoroughly.
  • Related in the Adaptation: Akut and Kala, two Mangani who never met in the books, are son and mother in this and thus Akut is Tarzan's adoptive brother.
  • Reality Ensues: While Tarzan growing up in the jungle did make him far stronger than the average human, when faced against his ape brother he gets his ass kicked badly since said ape brother is far stronger and larger than he is.
  • Recursive Canon: Williams shows Tarzan a pulpy-looking book about him, implying that Burroughs' novels are sensationalized accounts of true events.
  • Rescue Romance: Flashbacks imply that this is how the Tarzan/Jane relationship got going. He saves her from an angry Mangani by making himself a Human Shield, leading her to save him by taking him back to the village for medical treatment.
  • Revenge by Proxy: A member of Mbonga's tribe killed Tarzan's ape mother; so he killed Mbonga's only son in revenge. Subverted since Mbonga's son was the tribe member who slayed Kala.
  • Say My Name
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: The 20,000 mercenaries about to disembark at Boma see their pay go to the bottom of the harbor, the port leveled, and lots of hostile natives (many with rifles) surrounding what is left of the port. They weigh anchor and sail off for some reason.
  • Signature Roar: It's Tarzan, of course. However, it's less of a yodel, and more of an actual roaring shout.
  • Shown Their Work: The African tribe points out that, for the most part, gorillas are gentle creatures that just want to be left alone. The apes that raised Tarzan, however, are some unique form of Killer Gorilla that they view with no undue amount of fear.
  • Spot of Tea: Tarzan is drinking tea with his pinkie out when Williams meets with him.
  • Traintop Battle: Tarzan and the tribesmen make a Vine Swing down on to the top of the moving slave train, where they dispose of the guards on top of the train.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Tarzan and Dr. Williams become this over the course of the film.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Tarzan after returning to the jungle.
  • Weapon of Choice: Rom's Madagascar spider silk rosary...unassuming at first, until he uses it to grasp or choke someone out.
  • Would Hurt a Child: In a flashback, Kerchak (the ape with the dead eye) had no qualms with chasing Tarzan as a child through the jungle and beating him up.
  • You Killed My Father: Well, mother, and it's one half of the reason Tarzan and Mbonga utterly despise one another; the other half being that Tarzan murdered Mbonga's son out of revenge.

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