Tomb Raider was recently released, and here’s our thoughts on the movie.
As always, spoilers abound.
Tomb Raider is the videogame movie that you have been waiting for. To be honest, videogame movies have fared poorly on the silver screen and have had the hardest time translating from your console to the big screen treatment. Tomb Raider does not fall under that category.
As fans and gamers, there’s an expectation that the movie will be true to its origins. Be it the story, the elements, or how a character is portrayed. These elements plagued even the first go-round of Lara Croft on the screen in the early 2000s. Tomb Raider took these elements into consideration and delivered big in this iteration.
The movie follows the same storyline as that of the Tomb Raider game in 2013, with the story revolving around the myth of Himiko. Several lines from the movie were likewise lifted from the game. Characters such as Mathias and Anna also make an appearance in the movie. The difference, however, is that in the movie Lara is not in search for Himiko but instead is in search for her father Richard Croft, with Himiko serving as the mcguffin in the movie.
Storywise, the movie plodded along in the first 30 minutes. It started-off slow with set-up and exposition, but once the world-building and exposition heavy parts were done with the movie significantly picked-up its pace and never looked back.
What’s great about the exposition and set-up is that it gave viewers something to chew-on as it showed just how close the relationship of Lara and her father was. It gave viewers something that they can relate to, and it grounded the whole movie. Richard’s supposed “death” also made Lara relatable. It is also worth noting that Lara’s depiction here as a charming, down-to-earth woman really paid-off, rather than having her as a spoiled, rich archaeologist that we were once introduced to.
Lara’s adventure really took-off once she was given a puzzle to solve before she signed the certificate of presumptive death of her father. As fans know, an intricate part of the whole Tomb Raider series is Lara’s puzzle-solving skills, which in this movie did not feel forced at all. From there, Lara goes on a whirlwind of an adventure from London to Hong Kong to the Devil’s Triangle, approximately near Japan and the Philippines.
While at this point, the movie feels like your generic tomb raiding movie ala Indiana Jones or National Treasure, the movie makes its mark once Lara is placed in danger. A particular scene, the escape from the sinking ship, was really organic as Lara moved as if you were controlling her in the game. Another noteworthy scene was her parachute escape from Mathias, particularly the airplane scene.
These adventures where of course not the focal point of the movie. It is in fact the relationship of Lara and her father. The revelation that Richard was alive and on the same island was a welcome surprise. It also emitted some of the calmer scenes in the movie which was a welcome change of pace and at the same time a great piece of drama and acting.
Another scene worth noting is one in the tomb. There’s a particular scene there where the floor was collapsing bit by bit and Lara and her companions had to figure-out the puzzle to escape the room. The scene was full of tension and distress, and it evoked that same level of focus and tension as that of the game. It was truly a heart stopper, and after that scene I was surprised when I realized that I was holding my breath throughout that scene.
The overall story, however, is rather generic and rather overused. The hero of the story in the midst of rescuing someone special and at the same time discovering a potential extinction level bacteria and preventing the villain from unleashing it and thereafter triumphing at the expense of the said loved one has been used in countless movies and videogames, and thus making it predictable.
The saving grace for this movie, though, is the feel of it. The movie feels just like a videogame, and that is not a negative. The mechanics of the game were infused without the feeling of being forced. Lara utilizing her skills, be it hanging from a ledge, escaping a plane, using a pick-ax or even solving intricate puzzles were nicely crafted and infused in the movie.
The other plus for this movie is Alicia Vikander. Alicia is perfect for the role of Lara. She carried the role and the movie on her shoulders and proved that she is a force to be reckoned with in the movie industry. Her performance, starting from the somewhat gullible Lara and her subsequent growth throughout the movie into The Tomb Raider was a sight to behold. Her brute strength in the more physical aspects of her role was likewise a big plus. It also doesn’t hurt that she’s got the charms to pull-off the role.
Overall, Tomb Raider is a fun adventure that is worth seeing in the cinemas. It is a far better iteration of Lara Croft, and should be a worthy jumping-off point for videogame movies.
While the story may come-off as a rehash of previous adventure movies, the acting especially of Alicia Vikander and the infusion of in-game mechanics in the movie is a big plus for this movie.
We give it a 3.5/5
Do you agree with our rating? Or do you have any opinions on The Tomb Raider movie? Let us know in the comments section below, or jump over to our Facebook, Twitter , Youtube, and Instagram. or Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Also check out our podcast called In the Car After where we talk about the movie right after we watched it!
Gino is the Gladiators’ resident TV and comicbook aficionado. He is Matt Murdock by profession in the day, without the vigilante crime fighting at night. He believes that the lightsaber is the best weapon during a zombie apocalypse.