Davis: Tarzan swings through movie theatres again

The former feral child who was raised in the jungles of Africa by the great apes, returns in The Legend of Tarzan.

Samuel L. Jackson (left) stars with Alexander Skarsgård in The Legend of Tarzan.

Rick DavisOf all of the works that came from the mind of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan is probably the most well known. The author himself wrote 26 books starring the character starting in 1912, plus there were numerous books from other authors. And according to the Internet Movie Database, there are literally hundreds of movies featuring Tarzan.

The first actor to portray the character on-screen was Elmo Lincoln in 1918 and was followed by Olympic swimmers Johnny Weissmuller and Buster Crabbe and then by Olympic shot-putter Herman Brix. More recently, Christopher Lambert starred in 1984’s Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes and Tony Goldwyn was the voice of the animated Tarzan in the 1999 Disney animated film.

In The Legend of Tarzan, Alexander Skarsgård (TV’s True Blood) is the latest to tackle the role of John Clayton, 3rd Viscount of Greystoke, the former feral child who was raised in the jungles of Africa by the great apes. Now living the aristocratic life in the United Kingdom with his beloved wife Jane Porter, he is invited back to the Congo to serve as a trade emissary of the House of Commons. However, he soon discovers that he is a pawn in a deadly convergence of greed and revenge and must return to the jungle to stop an evil war monger. Also starring Margot Robbie, Samuel L. Jackson, Christoph Waltz, Djimon Hounsou and Jon Hurt, it directed by David Yates who has proven himself adapting stories based upon popular literary characters. Not only did he direct that last four Harry Potter movies, his next project is the spinoff Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them coming out this November.

Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) is another famous author getting the big screen treatment this weekend and he has arguably the most successful director of all time at the helm. When you mix the imaginations of Dahl and Steven Spielberg, the screenwriting talents of Melissa Mathison (E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial) and maestro John Williams composing the music, you know The BFG (Big Friendly Giant) is going to be magical moviemaking. The story revolves around a British orphan named Sophie who befriends a friendly giant. Together they set out on an adventure to capture the evil, man-eating giants who are invading the human world. The BFG also marks the first collaboration between Spielberg and The Walt Disney Company, which is distributing the film.

The Purge: Election Year is the third instalment in the Purge films series popular with sci-fi horror fans. In the near future, “The New Founding Fathers of America” have established a totalitarian government and police state in which one night a year, no police, fire and medical services are available for 12 hours. Called the Purge, the only rules are that explosive weapons are not allowed and the only citizens that are safe from being attacked are certain government officials. However, the latter rule is abolished in the latest instalment which spells trouble for a presidential candidate who is running on a platform to eliminate the Purge.