Film review: Tarzan
Come back Phil Collins - all is forgiven.
While, for many, the presence of a cadre of the Genesis drummer's angst-ridden pop songs marred Disney's 1999 star-studded (Glenn Close, Minnie Driver, Brian Blessed), crisply-animated take on Edgar Rice Burrows' 1914 literary classic, the emotions he evoked are sadly MIA from this po-faced and pallid German-French-American co-production.
Weirdly borrowing elements from Michael Crichton's Congo and Transformers, the film-makers have attempted to contemporarise the Tarzan tale by making him the sole heir to Greystoke Energies.
Missing, presumed dead, since a helicopter crash in a deep dark part of Africa (where his father was searching for a meteorite with mysterious powers), the boy formerly known as JJ has been raised by apes. However, he re-encounters his original kind when crossing paths with environmental worker Jane Porter and new company CEO Clayton, who have their own, distinct agendas.
Narratively ambitious and boasting plenty of 3-D thrills and impressive motion capture, Tarzan is let down by disturbing-looking humans from the "uncanny valley" of animation (a la Mars Needs Moms and The Polar Express) and a truly awful portentous and pretentious voice-over ("he was tormented by a thousand feelings and questions").
Throw in an over-caffeinated score, a touch too much mystical mumbo-jumbo and the jarring use of Coldplay's Paradise and the result is a film that will satisfy neither youngsters or their parents.
Tarzan (PG) 94 mins
Sunday Star Times