Friday, February 19, 2016

Tarzan and the Lost Safari (195-)

This was the first Tarzan film to be released in color, though not the first one shot that way(that was TARZAN'S PERIL which was shot on location and suffered from processing issues which wrecked the color for half the stock). It’s a film that is lifted by the color spectacle and the location shooting.

The plot of the film has Tarzan helping a group of travelers who stranded after their plane is brought down by a flock of migrating flamingos (no really). The group are hounded by a tribe of natives who are I cahoots with and evil white man. The natives hope to sacrifice the group to their god.

A run of the mill story is made better by the color photography which frequently gives us some truly spectacular images to look at. It also gets bonus points for including footage that appears to have been shot on location. Seeing the king of the jungle actually in the jungle, in rivers and running across the grasslands is really cool.

As Tarzan films go this is probably the blandest. It is not a bad film, rather it’s a film that seems more concerned with showing off the color photography than it is with being a completely exciting film. It’s a film that just sort of is and which goes through the motions. Yes there are moments of action, but it’s not as exciting as it had been in other films. The film is also saddled with uneven marrying of studio sets with the real world. Watch how Tarzan runs through real grasslands to the set where the crashed plane is hanging by vines. Tarzan’s pursuit of the woman who is kidnapped bounces between sets and real locations. Yes I was willing to go with it but at the same time I was never fully invested, or as invested as I was I the other films in the sequence.

While I would definitely watch the film if I ran across it I’m not sure that I would ever pull it out and just put it on.

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