Tomb Raider (2018): An empty tomb?

by Meerkat
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Hollywood has always had a knack for translating other entertainment mediums onto the silver screen and for many years, the potential has either been squandered or underwhelmed to the extent of utter dissatisfaction.

For video game movies, many have believed that there is a curse of failure in every attempt of an adaptation – from Mortal Kombat to Street Fighter, Warcraft to Super Mario Bros. There just has not been the right execution to what its original medium has perfected so well. Today’s latest victim, Tomb Raider.

Remember how exciting it was back in the day to see a badass babe wheld dual handguns and just volt through obstacles on the PlayStation One? Or how we couldn’t control our enthusiasm when Angelina Jolie was casted for the first movie back in 2001? Yeah, let’s just say that those were good times.

This latest movie installment tackles on the revamped Tomb Raider video game introduced back in 2013, a prequel to the badass Lara Croft who is shoved right into the survivalist role and destined to live up to the puzzle/mystery solving Croft that she is. This movie showcases all that quite fairly and to be honest, does a decent job at creating a live action interpretation of those game animated scenes.

Alicia Vikander needs no introduction and having her play the role of Lara seemed like an obvious choice for such a powerful and iconic character. She represented the youth needed in this version of Lara and does an excellent job on delivering the conviction we needed in accepting the new generation of the Tomb Raider on the screen.

Sadly, the story does most of the disservice to the franchise with elements that excessively stretch the story with such exaggeration and overcompensation that just leaves the star’s prowess in the backseat.

The story is plagued by the burden of having to blend classic and modern Tomb Raider by combining the father-daughter element of the character with the survival by force nature. It ultimately congests and even waters down the logic of certain scenes to the point where you just aren’t interested in the mystery of the third act.

If you pay close attention, much of the troubles caused in this movie could actually have been avoided had the writer not perfectly placed key characters in pivotal plot moments. It’s just lazy writing and disrespectful to us as the audience as we had to go through two chase scenes to only have a dumbed down mystery which we were promised in the first place.

To be fair, Tomb Raider is an action packed movie that delivered on the surface expectations of the franchise. The only shame of all this was that the story had to be so convoluted to the point where our interests just dies before we even reach the character’s growth halfway through the movie.

this movie made Angelina Jolie’s Tomb Raider look like a masterpiece.

So it seems the video game movie curse is still alive and healthy in this generation as Hollywood still refuses to learn from past mistakes. The potential is still there however, studios need to respect the source materials and acknowledge the quality of what make these games so great.

In short, this movie made Angelina Jolie’s Tomb Raider look like a masterpiece and in all honesty, they should have just kept it as simple as it was back then.

Tomb Raider – 4/10

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