Movie Review: “Tomb Raider”

Tom Capone, Contributing Writer | 

“Tomb Raider” is the film industry’s latest attempt at making a good video game movie. While it is not a terrible film, “Tomb Raider” is not the one to break the curse of video game movies, which have a tendency to be terrible.

The film stars Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft. She gives a solid performance, which is to be expected from an Oscar winning actress. She does a great job bringing the character into the modern age and away from Angelina Jolie’s “campiness” in the original “Tomb Raider” movies.

This new addition to the franchise took direct inspiration from the recent reboot of the “Tomb Raider” video games: it takes all the major plot points of the game and uses them to carry the story, while dropping some of the components that would not work for a movie.

The film’s cast makes the best out of what they are given, especially the villain, played by Walton Goggins. He takes what would have been a forgettable villain and makes him fun and entertaining, something that would not have happened in the hands of a lesser actor.

“Tomb Raider” focuses on the character of Lara Croft. The plot is largely constructed by the story of Lara accepting the loss of her father and coming into her own as an action hero. She gets to shine in the action and problem-solving scenes, some of the best scenes in the film, much like they are in the game.

At the end of the day “Tomb Raider” is more of an action/adventure movie than it is a video game movie. This transformation is something that all video game movies should do: not simply be a movie about a video game, but also embrace the genre they are, whether that be an action movie, horror movie, or any other number of genres.

While “Tomb Raider” does a lot right for a video game movie, there are some things that it does wrong.

One flaw would be the pacing of the film. It starts off slow, but once the characters arrive on the island, the action starts to move at a rocket-fast pace—fast to the point that the film does not take the time to let certain moments breathe or develop. Critical scenes are rushed through in order to move on to the next thing, which causes some emotional moments to fall flat, instead of allowing the audience to feel the impact they are meant to.

Another critique is how the villains in the film don’t possess a motivation that goes beyond world domination. In today’s world, this is not a compelling, but rather boring motivation for a villain. A villain that wants to conquer the world because they believe that it is the only way to achieve peace or to save a family member is a much stronger motivation than a villain who wants to conquer the world “just because.”

“Tomb Raider” is not going to be a film that people are talking about even five years from now. Still, it is a fun and enjoyable action movie with compelling character development at it’s core. It is a very solid one-time watch, but won’t be remembered as one of the all time great video game movies, or the movie to start a new trend of how video game movies are made.

“Tomb Raider” earns a score of six out of ten.

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