Story

The Legend of Tarzan is the latest action adventure movie about John Clayton, Lord Greystoke (Alexander Skarsgard). John’s parents die when he’s a child. He’s taken in by a family of apes and grows up as their leader ‘Tarzan’. The movie begins 10 years after these events. John is living a comfortable life in England with his loving wife Jane (Margot Robbie).

The Belgian King Leopold II decides to invade the Congo to extract its mineral deposits and diamonds. When his expedition is ambushed by tribal leader Chief Mbonga, King Leopold’s envoy Leon Rom (Christoph Waltz) is offered diamonds in exchange for Tarzan.

John hears that the Belgians are enslaving the Congolese. An American envoy who knows about John’s identity as Tarzan convinces him to go to the Congo again. When John and his wife Jane arrive there, they encounter Rom and his mercenaries, who kidnap Jane and several companions.

John discovers that Rom intends to use the diamonds to fund a large army to control and exploit the Congo for its resources. With the help of the leader of the apes, he sets out to confront Rom and rescue Jane. 

Themes

Love and family; revenge; colonialism; slavery; mercenaries; sacrifice

Violence

The Legend of Tarzan has considerable violence. For example:

  • The movie has many battle sequences. In these scenes, characters use weapons (swords, arrows, guns and knives) and their fists to injure and kill others. Dead soldiers are hung up on poles.
  • Large herds of animals trample characters to death.
  • Crocodiles kill and eat a man.
  • Some large gorillas threaten a young boy.
  • Mercenaries set a village on fire and burn it down, and then take some villagers as slaves.
  • Mercenaries shoot and kill a village chief.
  • There are flashbacks to the deaths of a young boy’s mother and father. Several gorillas jump on and beat his father.
  • A man is almost strangled with rosary beads.
  • Several men kidnap a woman and hold her against her will. They tell her to scream, so that her husband will come to her rescue.

Content that may disturb children

Under 5
Children in this age group are likely to be disturbed by many of the characters and violent scenes described above.

From 5-8
Children in this age group are also likely to be disturbed by many of the characters and violent scenes described above.

From 8-13
Children in this age group are also likely to be disturbed by many of the characters and violent scenes described above.

Over 13
Younger viewers in this age group might also be disturbed by some of the scenes and themes mentioned above.

Sexual references

None of concern

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

The Legend of Tarzan shows some use of substances. For example, adult characters drink alcohol in several scenes.

Nudity and sexual activity

The Legend of Tarzan has some sexual content and nudity. For example:

  • A man and woman share several passionate kisses.
  • A man is naked in one scene.
  • It is implied that John and Jane, who are seen lying naked together, have had sex. 

Product placement

None of concern

Coarse language

The Legend of Tarzan has some coarse language.

Ideas to discuss with your children

The Legend of Tarzan is an action-packed movie that demonstrates the importance of taking a stand against things that are wrong or unjust.

Although Tarzan doesn’t want to go back to the Congo, he can’t stand by while the Belgians mistreat and enslave the Congolese. The movie highlights the importance of a person’s heritage and family, but it also suggests that family isn’t limited to blood relatives. It highlights the lengths to which people will go to take care of the people they love. Furthermore, the movie emphasises that although courage is important, revenge can often end badly for everyone.

The movie has frequent violence and disturbing scenes and themes, so it isn’t suitable for young children. It’s best suited to viewers over 15 years.

If you have older children, this movie could give you the chance to talk about several issues, including the:

  • impact of colonialism on countries and individuals
  • wisdom of risking your own life and safety to protect people that you care about.