Party like it's 1996
If you're an avid follower of my reviews then you know that my stance on video game film adaptations can linger between guilty pleasure or a non-lenient mess. If the film is at least entertaining even if carries little to no resemblance to its' original source, I'll give it a pass; if it's crap then I'll pretend it doesn't exist. Early on, when I first heard Alicia Vikander would be the next Lara Croft, I wasn't too crazy about it to be honest. And going back to revisit the first two films, I had forgotten just how cheesy they were, even for the years they were released in. However, a lot of time has passed and little by little video game films have come a long way even if it hasn't been that much progress. This version of Tomb Raider is similar to the 2013 video game reboot which explores the origins of Lara Croft (Vikander) before she came to be the globe-trotting, gun-wielding explorer. When Lara was a teenager, her father Richard Croft (Dominic West) went on an expedition and never returned. Years later and now 21, Lara still believes her father to be alive and refuses to inherit his company, believing that doing so is to acknowledge he is gone. Instead, Lara decides to follow clues to the whereabouts of her father's last known location before he went missing, leading her on an adventure where she'll uncover the truth behind his
disappearance. One of the many, many things that video game film adaptations always manage to screw up is telling a coherent plot (i.e. Assassin's Creed), so I'm glad to say Tomb Raider doesn't fall victim to this notorious pitfall; staying close to the story as was the original 2013 video game. It may not be original but hey, at least it's a well told one. Alicia Vikander proves she's got the mettle to play the fierce Lara, showing dedication and heart where most roles in video games would just be hollow and void of any character. All the other supporting characters help round out the film thanks to some well-casted talent like Walton Goggins and Daniel Wu. The action isn't all-over the place ala Michael Bay which is a good thing; it feels more grounded and can sometimes get downright gritty, at least up until the climax
where it falls prey to the typical daring Hollywood style escape routine. There's not much to take away from Tomb Raider except that it's a step in the right direction for video game films in terms of quality and that it features a positive female lead, which we rarely get in movies these days. Overall, the film wasn't bad and I'm glad to say that Vikander proved me wrong when she was handed the reins to portray the infamous character. Tomb Raider definitely deserves a look, and should a sequel ever come into fruition, I'll be gladly awaiting it with anticipation.