Here be a di­nosaur

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - REVIEWS - DON­ALD CLARKE


Di­rected by Rein­hard Klooss. Voices of Kellan Lutz, Spencer Locke, Trevor St John PG cert, gen­eral re­lease, 94 min Me film; you punter. Me ugly Europ­ud­ding; you dead­beat dad des­per­ate to dis­tract child on bank hol­i­day weekend. Look! Tarzan! Will do if no kids films with Ice Cube in cin­ema. You go sleep now.

What more do you need to know? This Franco-Ger­man dis­tor­tion of Edgar Rice Bur­roughs’s durable ad­ven­ture novel smoth­ers the orig­i­nal tale in a mass of ex­tra­ne­ous guff de­signed to ap­peal to Amer­i­cans, sci-fi fans, en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists and, it seems, people with for­eign ob­jects lodged in their frontal lobes.

Ded­i­cated fans of the vine-swinger will be sur­prised to dis­cover that the new film be­gins with an as­ter­oid head­ing for an an­cient ver­sion of our planet. We then move a few mil­lion years for­ward to find the Greystoke fam­ily camp­ing in a jun­gle glade. Dad is here to track down some sort of mys­te­ri­ous en­ergy source. Then we get a nat­u­ral his­tory les­son on the life of the moun­tain go­rilla. Then there’s a he­li­copter crash and young Greystoke makes his usual ac­com­mo­da­tion with neigh­bour­ing apes.

The film will di­vert chil­dren with a low thresh­old for make-do an­i­ma­tion. The back­grounds and an­i­mal se­quences are pass­able. Mo­tion-cap­tured from the move­ments of Twi­light heart­throb Kellan Lutz, Tarzan him­self is not an ab­so­lute mon­stros­ity. Sadly, the rest of the hu­mans look as if they’ve es­caped from an in-flight safety video from the late 1980s. But it’s the dizzy­ing clut­ter of com­pet­ing plots that re­ally sab­o­tages the film.

Who’s he? What’s this? Hang on. Was that a di­nosaur?

Me no like.

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