Tomb Raider 2018 Review
This is film's second attempt at a Tomb Raider franchise aiming to adapt the latest rebooted games from Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics. The two games that make up that series are some of the best titles of the latest generations telling beautiful stories and having compelling gameplay. Moving that aside as I'll try not to focus on the game aspects too much, some elements are faithful whereas others truly damage the narrative. I felt that at heart of this story, they really didn't capture what the core concept of those games is about. This should have been a birth of survivor, one that has seen and had to do horrible things to continue living.
They get that almost, and then throw it all away for a generic action packed ending. I really did think they had it at one moment and there's middle bit of the movie that's fantastic. Once you hit a campfire it all comes tumbling down and that was rough, especially since it was the cut off point for when I went to screen this as there was a picture quality issue. At the start, I don't mind what they've done with her origin yet it doesn't quite fit who she is. There's a weird biking scene that doesn't make much sense, but I guess that sets her up as adventurous or something.
The side cast for the film was fine, yet it was strange to see them all so present. This is supposed to be a solo tale though Lara always had someone to fall back on here. It sort of defeats the purpose of having a strong female lead if she constantly needs support from others. The action scenes were well done, though the whole thing seemed to be filled to the brim with action which wasn't necessary. The ending was a mix of generic sequences and moments of creativity which was strange to me.
I loved how the movie was shot, it was quite beautiful and gritty capturing the aesthetic of the experience well. For fans from the game series you'll love certain key moments where it's literally a direct translation from game to film and those were great. I found Alicia Vikander to be a fine Lara Croft, I would have however liked someone that was a bit more muscular. There's a lot of physicality involved with what Lara has to do constantly. That aside, she did have strong moments where emotion came into play and she nailed it, along with some initial charm in interacting with regular people at the start.
Tomb Raider is at its best when it's faithful to the core aspects of the games, but when it strays from that it gets weak. There was a big mix of great quality scenes and others that just weren't well done. Some elements didn't make much sense and it goes from survival to full on Rambo very fast which didn't feel right. The move was beautifully shot and after seeing it essentially twice it's an alright film.
Alicia Vikander does a decent job here capturing the character well enough that I can't complain too much. I think that fans of the game will be somewhat satisfied with the picture with iconic moments being shot for shot, yet the general viewer may not connect entirely with this. This probably won't be the last time we see Tomb Raider brought to the screen and so far this is the best iteration of that I suppose.
Tomb Raider 2018 Review at Theater with IMAX Viewing for 75%, AVX 3D Atmos Second Viewing
Screening Provided by Warner Brothers
Rating Overall: 4.8