Tarzan and the Lost City

Tarzan and the Lost City

D: Carl Schenkel (1998); with Casper Van Dien, Jane March, Steven Waddington. Before Disney's recent animated Tarzan, Casper Van Dien (Starship Troopers) donned the loincloth for this live action flick. Loosely based on Burrough's novel Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar, the movie follows the jungle man (educated and civilized at this point) from his new home in England back to his native Africa. He's been summoned to stop a pack of treasure hunters from plundering the sacred city of Opar. Stopping the bad guys is easier said than done considering his nosy fiancée Jane (March) follows along, providing an annoying damsel-in-distress element. Expect the same clichés utilized in much of the lesser Lex Barker and Gordon Scott films (greedy white hunters, bad tribal dancing) as well as pretty bad acting on the behalf of Van Dien. Quite a shame considering his square-jawed credibility in Starship Troopers, but throughout the film, he offers a repeated steely stare, corny grunts, and "ooh oohs." Bad stuff all the way around. Perhaps not as horrid as the Bo Derek fiasco Tarzan the Ape Man, but a far cry from the Johnny Weissmuller and Buster Crabbe epics of yesteryear.

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