Sunday, 18 March 2018

'Tomb Raider' Film Review

Based on the rebooted video game series, Roar Uthag's take on 'Tomb Raider' follows the origins of Lara Croft.

Lara (Alicia Vikander), unwilling to accept the death of her missing adventurer father (Dominic West), rejects her inheritance, working as a food delivery cyclist whizzing around Shoreditch. When she discovers a puzzle her father had left for her, she is desperate to go to a secret island off the coast of Japan to try to find him.

The father daughter relationship is at the heart of this movie and although these memories/scenes often slow the pace right down in between high octane action sequences, offer a much deeper glimpse into Lara's motivation and emotional drive.

This movie brings us a much more well rounded, realistic and gritty version of Lara Croft, perfectly carried by Oscar winner Alicia Vikander, who brings both emotional and physical strength to the screen. 

The focus on the emotional development of Lara and themes of loss and relationship with her father does give the movie a more serious tone, and the lighthearted humour/one liners in the first half would also be welcome in the latter. 

That said, the full onslaught of tense action does somewhat make up for the lack of humour, in particular the clever self awareness in one particular scene in which Lara is manages to climb on a wrecked plane from a raging rapid, only to find the plane about to collapse off the waterfall, and proclaims "really!?". More of this genre awareness and parody would have been great.

As the film reaches its climax and the group finally enter the tomb, the film plays out in a relatively predictable way. Whilst there were a few cool traps and one jump scare, the lack of the 'puzzle' was a real missing piece for me in the whole film. Had it taken a few more pages out of Indiana Jones, the final act could have made the movie even better. 

Overall, 'Tomb Raider' is a solid video game to film adaptation that keeps you at the edge of your seat with great action set pieces. Whilst the film could have done with a bit more 'fun' or 'humour' and was certainly missing a real 'puzzle', what we do have is an emotionally driven and developed version of Lara played by Alicia Vikander, who is now set up to take on a franchise, with much opportunity for those missing pieces. Had we had it the other way around (with all the action/humour, but a character devoid of depth), there probably wouldn't be a worthwhile serviceable sequel to make. 

Others may say differently, but I personally loved it. 9/10

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