This weekend's big theatrical release stars Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft in a brand new Tomb Raider movie. The film screened for critics last night, and now the reviews are hitting the internet. The general consensus seems to be that the movie has some fun action and a compelling lead actress, however, there are different opinions about whether either of those things are put to good to use. Our own Sean O'Connell put it like this...
For all of its dedication to breathing life into the game, the movie Tomb Raider doesn't establish its own sense of adventure, or dial into a genuine rush or tingle that comes with watching an action movie.
Many of the reviews seem to follow a similar thought process. The Wrap compliments the character that Alicia Vikander plays in the movie, for being more interesting than your average action hero, but ultimately faults the film for giving her little interesting to do.
Such a uniquely interesting character deserves more than a run-of-the-mill action franchise, but Tomb Raider is exactly that, a formulaic adventure so predictable and pre-ordained that it could have been written on one of the many maps the characters use.
What really elevates it, though, are a couple of extremely specific story and design decisions that set it apart from all its contemporaries, from Indiana Jones and Uncharted to past Tomb Raider games and movies.
The movie itself is another, more complicated, story, but this video game adaption is better than most with set pieces that are both fun and ridiculous (like a high-stakes escape room) that actually seem to approximate the experience of playing a video game.
For my own part, I thought the new Tomb Raider was a fun ride. It's more than a little silly and the plot is nothing we haven't seen before, but as a fan of the game on which the movie is based, I thought the film did a great job (more so at the beginning than later on) of capturing the way Lara is forced to push past her limits in order to overcome the obstacles in front of her. Alicia Vikander is perfect as Lara Croft, and if Tomb Raider does well enough to warrant sequels, there are more games on the way, I have hope that, much like with many video games, the sequel can polish up the rough bits and come out with a follow-up that surpasses the original.