In a famous 1971 interview with Michael Parkinson, the late, great Muhammad Ali flagged certain issues he had with Edgar Rice Burroughs’s most famous creation.
“I always wondered why Tarzan is the King of the Jungle in Africa . . . I saw this white man swinging around Africa with a diaper on, hollering . . . And all of the Africans, he’s beating them up and breaking the lion’s jaw, and here’s Tarzan, talking to the animals. And the Africans have been there for centuries and they can’t talk to the animals.”
It’s a central problem that David Yates’s new film can’t overcome, but, by golly, if it doesn’t tie itself into knots trying. And so, having been kidnapped by a dastardly Christophe Waltz, Jane (Margot Robbie) is offended by his suggestion that she should scream. “Like a damsel?” she huffs, before spending the rest of the film in a white dress and requiring rescuing. Like a damsel.