However, just the other day I was sitting and stewing over a problem in my head and I was trying to distract myself with some internet fluff and I found this OTHER Tarzan review and I decided to have a little fun and I wrote this review/rant/reply in the comment section.
(understand this, I did NOT disagree with the writer of the review. I thought they shot the movie down nicely – but I had so much fun writing this re-review that I thought that I ought to share it with you folks!)
So here goes, word for word, my comment from the review pages of SMART BITCHES, TRASHY BOOKS!
Old fart talking here.
I went to see the movie thanks to a pair of freebie tickets that I picked up at the local book shop.
I grew up reading Edgar Rice Burroughs. I thought that he had completely deballed Tarzan. First off, he doesn’t kill ANY freaking animals. In the books you couldn’t go two chapters without Tarzan throwing a full nelson on a bull gorilla and snapping his neck or killing a full grown lion with a hunting knife and a rope.
The movie stepped around all of that with him going Dr. Doolittle on the animals.
Secondly, he used to ride on Tantor the elephant.
In the movie he sees an elephant family while he is supposed to be running madly after a train to catch his kidnapped wife – and he stops and it’s all “Tantor, my brother, how you doing, let me skritch the baby elephant’s trunk”.
Come on. Wouldn’t you think that Tarzan might have thought to ask the elephant for a ride.
I know why they stepped around all of that. Killing animals is politically incorrect these days – so is riding on elephants. Hell, ask Barnum and Bailey about that. You can’t even see a whale jump anymore.
Now – before everybody figures that I am some great white hunter myself, forget about that. You throw me into the woods with a pocket knife and a rifle and say “There boy, survive.” and I’m going to be all “Holy shit, where’s the nearest Macdonalds drive in?” I couldn’t hit a rabbit or a deer or a water buffalo with a rifle if I tiptoed up and tried to club him death.
But I have read the books and what I saw was a politically-correct Tarzan.
Samuel Jackson was pretty good even though he was trying way too hard not to swear too much. Jane absolutely stunk up the joint. She was pretty and she made big talk about being a strong autonomous woman but basically all she did was play helpless-female-captive through most of the movie.
Let me see if I can answer some of the reviewer’s questions – and by the way, I thought this was a kickass review.
1 – The treehouse didn’t exist in the books. It was an abandoned cabin that Tarzan’s actual parents holed up in until the great ape tribe that eventually raised Tarzan decided to kill his parents rather than try and find a Justice of the Peace to write up adoption papers. The treehouse was in the movie, simply because it looked wicked cool. Johnny Weissmuller had a treehouse in his movies as well. Face it, tree houses freaking rock.
2. Washboard abs? Hell, they looked wicked cool. They did on the Frazetta covers that used to adorn Burroughs paperback novels. In the original books Tarzan was always described as “clean limbed”. I don’t know how that comes down to “washboard abs” either, but I have to admit, I liked the look of Tarzan. I want to see a dude who looks a little wiry, like he’s spent a whole lot of time swinging on vines and such.
3. We’ve already discussed him snapping the neck of a gorilla. Hell, anyone knows, Tarzan has crazy mad wrestling abilities.
4. The lack of a beard. In the books, Tarzan shaved with a hunting knife that he found in his parent’s cabin. I guess the local barber shop was too far of a distance to swing to – or maybe Tarzan just didn’t swing that way.
All right, you can hit me for that last joke.
Which brings me to my last beef.
Where the hell was Tarzan’s knife? I know I can’t expect it to be EXACTLY like the old-time books. Times change, attitudes change – but hell, if I was swinging through the jungle on a vine having to survive in the wilderness I would CERTAINLY carry a knife of some sort.
I mean, we’ve already established that I can’t shoot for shit.
Anyway – to sum up – I saw the movie for free and I still want my money back.
yours in storytelling,