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Alicia Vikander in Tomb Raider (2018)Review

Tomb Raider (Action, Adventure) [Based on Videogame] (2018)


Director: Roar Uthaug

Writers: Geneva Robertson-Dworet (screenplay/story), Alastair Siddons (screenplay), Evan Daugherty (story)

Starring: Alicia Vikander, Dominic West, Walton Goggins, Daniel Wu, Nick Frost

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Throughout the years we have been treated to various versions of Lara Croft, a character that has seen quite the evolution just in the last few years, possibly due to the game series’ publisher changing from Eidos Interactive to Square Enix; also taking into account the critique of the over-sexualised appearance of the character over the years. There has always been a lot of controversy regarding this subject with a lot of people agreeing that she is in fact, over-sexualised yet others say she still had more of an empowering role towards young girls and woman alike; however, today we won’t be discussing this too heavily instead we’ll be taking a closer look at the newest movie starring Alicia Vikander as the new Lara Croft/Tomb Raider.

Based upon the rebooted game series, this film reboot sets itself apart and creates an alternate version of what gamers have seen in 2013’s Tomb Raider video game. It’s an interesting take but hard to fulfil successfully. The story sees many changes as instead of setting out with a varied cast of characters to solve the mysteries of Yamatai; we’re treated to a different journey to the same island just featuring Lara and the captain of the ship they had set out on to find her father. Right away, it feels a lot simpler in setup, not showing a lot to build upon, which is sadly a theme that continues throughout the film.

Taking away the story for a moment, if we look at the casting of Alicia Vikander, I’d say everyone has to agree that at least visually she’s a great casting decision. We’ve seen her star in several other films, most more emotional pieces rather than action-packed adventure’s which is something that could’ve been used to great success if we look back at the 2013 Video game there was a highlight in regards to the emotionality of the character. Taking nothing away from what Vikander could’ve done with the character we’re looking at an oversimplified version of Lara Croft. The same goes for the characters around her.

Lara Croft has always appeared as a rather intelligent young woman, however in this film iteration; instead of a learned individual, she’s more witty than truly intelligent. Her exciting adventure’s for archaeological gain is turned into an unsatisfying search for her father.

After looking at the lack of resemblance between the game and the movie in characters and plot, the action scenes feel very much like they are taken from the video game, some are even directly copied from the source material. It’s quite peculiar with the changes made to the plot to decide that the action scenes need to be most like the video game, a decision it could’ve done without as games work with an entirely different dynamic than film. Everything needs to be reactive in a video game to immerse the player in what’s happening where in cinema it’s the job of the people creating the film to make each scene to be experienced in a specific way every time you watch it whilst still leaving room for interpretation these are things that can’t be done in games and vice versa.

A new line of Tomb Raider movies could’ve worked out splendidly if they’d went in another direction. Perhaps using the film to tell different stories tied to the currently rebooted video game series.

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A tomb perhaps best left un-raided.