Tomb Raider is a 2018 American adventure cum action film and is a reimagining of the popular 2001 movie bearing the same name starring Angelina Jolie. Directed by Roar Uthaug, it pivots on Lara (Alicia Vikander), the daughter of a wealthy English businessman who goes on an odyssey to an undisclosed destination in order to uncover the mystery behind her father’s disappearance.
Right off the bat, I’ll have to admit that granting I’ve not always been a fan of the Tomb Raider video games as much as most millennial gamers are, I played them anyway because it was a big deal particularly the 2003 one which I played a lot in my childhood. That said, this 2018 movie is apparently based on the 2013 game; I didn’t give it much attention then but having seen this film, I believe I have a compelling reason to reconsider. Alicia Vikander, best known for her roles in Ex Machina and the Danish Girl, takes up the mantle of Jolie’s iconic role and for the most part, her depiction of Lara Croft is relatively good; the mission here might be different from the 2001 screenplay but she doesn’t sell herself short in any way and for me, this is the onscreen version of the game I have been longing for.
Her character has more depth and development and it’s almost impossible not connect with what she is going through. This film is pretty much all about her, and that’s what it should be. Vikander obviously can’t be star in this movie all by herself, she needs compelling actors by her side to build her character and Dominic West, who plays her father Lord Richard Croft as well Daniel Wu as Lu Ren do a great job at that; the rest of the characters on the other hand, according to me, are just there to make up the numbers which in this case is a good thing.
Nonetheless, there are a couple of issues that I must iron out with this film. I love expositions; they are fantastic in building a certain intended tone in a film. However, it gets real diabolical real fast when it’s done too much and that is an aspect of this photoplay that considerably affected its pacing. Furthermore, some scenes and action sequences seem very delusive and fictitious even for a film of its caliber; a good example, without giving any spoilers, is the scene in which Lara Croft flawlessly maneuvers through a rough and unchartered terrain that she hasn’t been in before. The latter, though a small concern, is noticeable especially from a critical point of view.
In conclusion, I can attest to liking this photoplay; it’s not particularly a must-watch but you should watch it anyway especially if you grew up playing or even still play the game which this year’s Tomb Raider is based on. The acting is somewhat acceptable, the cinematography used in filming the action scenes distinctively the ones in the 3rd act is exceptional and I’m glad Roar Uthaug didn’t go for the awfully done wirework that plagued the 2001 version.