After a massacre filled opening between Belgian soldiers and African tribesmen, we are subjected to what appears to be a flash-back fuelled introduction to Tarzan, Lord of the Apes, in a film that conveys a very uptight mood. It’s a little bleak, slow and set around Victorian England with rainy and sometimes scary flashbacks to the Congo.

Alexander Skarsgård as Tarzan, using the name John Clayton, appears to be just as uncomfortable in a regal suit as he looks, and as such makes us feel uncomfortable as he delivers his Tarzan initially as a well-spoken, well connected Englishman. It serves as an introduction to who Tarzan is/was through said flashbacks but also as a continuation of his journey after he has left the jungle and stopped swinging on vines as he is often depicted as doing. It seems this is a very different Tarzan to what we may have expected.

In fact, once things get going, we are in the company of Skarsgård, Margot Robbie and Samuel L Jackson traversing the dusty plains of Africa in suits and hiking gear as we piece together the problems that the Congo is facing thanks to the sly and cold-hearted Christoph Waltz, looking and feeling more like a Blofeld than he ever did in ‘SPECTRE’, complete with villainous moustache and panama hat. He’s a classic Agatha Christie-style villain hiding behind a crisp fashion sense, etiquette and having others do his dirty work, but he’s always there, in the background, being cold and calculating to keep the plot moving.

Margot Robbie already is living in the shadow of her forthcoming turn as Harley Quinn in DCs ‘Suicide Squad’ which is now impossible to look at her and not see. She’s average, with enough sass and spunk as Jane but she’s not good enough to break free from her DC shackles already, and, to me, has a very peculiar shaped face and wide smile that distracted me more than her acting. Samuel L Jackson is crucial to the film when it finally starts to let go of the seriousness and has fun. In fact it’s one the best roles he’s been in recently and nice to see him away from the Marvel universe. He’s got that inimitable SLJ wit and attitude, and works well with Skarsgård on screen, thankfully not in a throw away cameo role. He’s in for the whole journey.

When it becomes a case of Jane having to be rescued before our villains escape, Clayton lets go and becomes Tarzan, and then we have fun. As his clothes come away to reveal a flawless torso akin to what we expect from a Lord of the Apes, we are treated to a classic B-movie style adventure across the Congo that includes crossing dangerous CGI animals (‘The Jungle Book’ takes the wow factor away), a rickety steam train, spear-throwing tribesmen and a finale across a port and a luxury steamer. Our heroes swing, run, leap, swim, shoot and quip their way to the end and it’s actually good fun that never drags and never takes itself too seriously. The visual effects are basic, but it’s very nice to look at and we have great chemistry between our two leads to keep us entertained.

Ignore the Hans Zimmer-inspired ‘Batman Begins’ soundtrack by Rupert Gregson-Williams, because this isn’t a bat affair; it’s an ape affair, and Tarzan is our Ape-Man to traverse the huge jungle trees and even let out his trademark war cry that echoes across the Congo and wonderfully received by Waltz who hears it. So, stick with the slow start because once the clothes come off, it picks up to one of those silly yet enjoyable B-movie romps. It's just about different enough to be a slight breath of fresh air from the CGI-modern era blockbusters this summer.

It just proves to me however that Tarzan can’t really do anything different to what we’ve seen before in modern adventure films and I think he’s a character best suited to the lore and movies of the past because nothing can be done for him to really triumph in this modern generation; as primitive as he is, Tarzan doesn’t have a place in modern society so incarnations will end up repeating the same old narrative and same old iconography.

Let’s end it here, with an acceptable resolution in this film I’d be happy to keep as the end for Tarzan and Jane.