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Tarzan In Manhattan (1989)

Tarzan In Manhattan (1989)

Who would've thought they could turn Tarzan into a typical eighties action movie?! It's legit. He's running barefoot in the jungle and everything in the beginning. Manages the typical Tarzan call. There are animals. It's a pretty thorough intro.

And then he flies off to Manhattan, you see the Statue of Liberty at a distance from the main land - rare viewpoint, and he climbs up a bridge pillar and rides into the city atop a commuter bus, all the while an ominous synthy soundtrack plays in the background...

The reason he's there isn't as positive though.

His chimp mom's been killed, and his little ape brethren's kidnapped, but he runs into a charming young female taxi driver, gives her a gold ring as payment, meets her crazy cop father and so the adventure commences!

And what a feelgood film this was.

The action scenes are typical eighties/nineties ones - not the most authentic, but with character. And so too the characters. And there's an element of humanity to the premise itself, and appreciative contrasts between the real jungle and the concrete one - though maybe they didn't highlight those bits as much as they could have.

There's a lot of bonding too. Tarzan and girl (Jane). Y'all know how it goes.

The only thing that throws me off during the movie is Joe Lara's (the guy who plays Tarzan) constantly so very preoccupied-looking expression. He's not an idiot, nor usually nervous, so for the most part the facial expression just feels off. He knows English from the start of the movie too.

It may be a spin-off take on his first meeting Jane, in the big city more so than the bush, but they could've portrayed him a little differently.

They did her perfectly.

Bright smiles all the time. Easy-going and easy to grow a liking to.

And despite Joe's bad facial mimicry he's not bad either. He definitely has a personality, and the looks, and seem a little reminiscent of Arnold's during his similarly New Age take on Hercules - a similar icon of the ancients in strange new places - albeit of course here Joe's a little less muscular.

And a better actor.

It's classic eighties-on-the-verge-of-nineties action with a refreshing twist.

Good movie.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle


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