The film we are talking about today has received mostly mixed reviews, but I sit on one extreme side of the spectrum. That movie is Tomb Raider, which is a reboot of the campy and overly sexualized early 2000s series which starred Angelina Jolie. That series was loosely based on the Tomb Raider video games up to that point.
This new movie, however, takes on the more serious, realistic tone found in the two newest games in the Tomb Raider video game series. It also loosely bases its story on the first of those two games, which was released in 2013. I say loosely based because it takes some of the same plot points, while remaking others either slightly or entirely in order to make a roughly 15 hour gameplay story fit into just 2 hours of screentime.
I personally loved what they did with the story. I also loved the Tomb Raider game from 2013. The movie changes the story so there is less hang time between plot points like there is in the video game. It’s written in a way to keep the movie going, for better or worse.
Alicia Vikander was perfect as Lara Croft, in my opinion, and Daniel Wu played a great sidekick-type character for her. Overall, the acting throughout well surpassed most, if not all, video game movie acting. I found myself caring for some of the characters just as much as I did for their counterparts in the video game.
To me, this means I was feeling how the film wanted me to feel in most moments. Whether I was meant to be laughing, scared, happy, sad, excited, or mad, I feel like I felt the way I was meant to feel during each moment of the film.
As far as how the film looks, I thought it looked beautiful and grand and gritty in all the right ways in all the right moments. It’s like the filmmakers took the style of the newer video games and just plopped it right into the filming of each moment. There were even similar or exact set pieces which were plucked from the game and used in the movie. Some shots go so far as to have over the shoulder, third person style shooting which the Tomb Raider video game series uses.
After much wrestling over exactly how much I loved the movie, in the end, I have to give Tomb Raider my highest rating of Frame the Ticket.
For me, the only problems I have with the movie are solved when looking at it through the lens of knowing it’s a video game movie. What I mean by that is this; some of the CGI is great, other moments of CGI are pretty crummy in comparison. However, if the crummier CGI were in the video game, I’d say, “Whoa. That looks like a movie.”
There’s even moments where you’d think a character would for sure be dead or you wonder how they could even believe what they’re saying without batting an eye. Yet, if those moments were in the video game, you’d most likely respond with, “Yeah; that’s totally normal. It could happen.”
That’s why it is deserving of my highest rating.