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TARZAN AND THE LOST CITY

SYNOPSIS:
Happily living in England and enjoying the benefits of being a land-owning noble, Tarzan (Casper Van Dien) is about to marry Lady Jane Porter (Jane March). Meanwhile, in central Africa, self-proclaimed scholar and explorer Nigel Ravens (Steven Waddington), believes he has found the way to the lost city of Opar, and burns native villages to earn the wrath of the locals. One African tribe leader, determined to stop Ravens from unearthing the lost city, sends a mystical message to Tarzan for help. With Lady Jane following close behind, Tarzan returns to the jungle where he was born.

"Occasionally a film comes along that is so ill-conceived, so inexorably atrocious that it defies description; such a film is Tarzan and the Lost City. Why on earth this film was even allowed to get off the ground is one of those mysteries of life that will undoubtedly remain buried with the lost city in question. What is so annoying, is that this is a case of opportunity lost: a rare chance to make an adult Tarzan film accentuating the sexual tension between Tarzan and Jane, instead of creating a story that is convoluted, idiotic and a poor person's (or maybe homeless person's?) Indiana Jones kiddie tale. It's hard to analyse a film that defies critical judgement, merely because it has fewer redeeming features of any film released thus far this year. Let's begin with the casting of Tarzan. Casper van Dien may be a muscular hunk, but his performance is nothing short of woeful: consistently wooden, robotic and devoid of ANY depth. It's a pity somebody didn't drown him in the Congo to put us out of our interminable misery. Even his fake ape co-stars are more animated. Like another Casper, maybe this one will become invisible from our screens. Jane March gives another decorative performance (this time remaining fully clothed), while Steven Waddington gnarls and thrashes his way through as the film's simplistic villain. Sluggishly directed, the film's one bright note is its splendid scenic tour of Africa; beyond that, there is no excuse for clearly such a amateur project to have been given the green light. Anyone who bothers to pay and see this Tarzan is a monkey indeed!"
Paul Fischer

"… This silly adventure with Casper Van Dien (Starship Troopers) as the latest Lord of the Apes comes across more like a sequel to George of the Jungle, but without the laughs…. The script, credited to Bayard Johnson and J. Anderson Black, is filled with laughably bad dialogue. ("Don’t be sentimental. This is science" barks Ravens when he learns that he has desecrated the corpse of Tarzan’s friend.) The performances can’t rescue the material and don’t even try. Waddington is consistent as the snarly villain with a veneer of charm, while March has to jump back and forth between Jane’s feistiness and fear. As for Van Dien, he has the physique for the role but without anything to play against (like the campiness of Starship Troopers), his standout moments consist of talking to animals and swinging on vines. The chief - indeed, only - virtue of the film is its spectacular South African locations…"
Daniel M. Kimmel, Variety

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 2
Mixed: 0
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TARZAN AND THE LOST CITY (PG)
(US)

CAST: Capser Van Dien, Jane March, Steven Waddington, Winston Ntshona, Rapulana Seiphemo, Ian Roberts

DIRECTOR: Carl Schenkel

PRODUCER: Stanley Canter, Dieter Geissler, Michael Lake

SCRIPT: Bayard Johnson, J. Anderson Black (based on the stories by Edgar Rice Burroughs)

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Paul Gilpin

EDITOR: Harry Hitner

MUSIC: Christopher Franke

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Herbert Pinter

RUNNING TIME: 84 minutes

 

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: May 21, 1998







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