Tomb Raider Review – Spoiler Free
Tomb Raider is a film which comes directed by Roar Uthaug. It is a film based on the popular video game series of the same name and it is also a reboot of the Tomb Raider film franchise. The film stars Alicia Vikander, Dominic West, Walton Goggins, Daniel Wu and Kristin Scott Thomas. The film is about a young woman named Lara Croft whose father has gone missing under strange circumstances and she is trying to figure out why he disappeared and also how he disappeared.
Going in to see this film this week, I was quite excited for it to start as I sat in my cinema seat. I’ve always been a fan of the Tomb Raider video games and 2013’s Tomb Raider game is still one of my favourite games of all time. While I did enjoy the other Tomb Raider films, I felt that with all the updates to the character in the video game reboot, it seemed fitting that we would also get that in a film as well. Tomb Raider as a character has become increasingly more popular over the last few years, so it makes sense I guess to bring the film series back.
Coming out of the film though I have to honestly say that I feel that they completely messed it up and missed a bunch of really great opportunities. The film’s plot does loosely follow the 2013 video game, but leaves much of the characters in that game and much of the game’s plot aside. While the game’s strongest theme was without a doubt survival, this film seems to have lost that theme in favour of family and Lara’s quest for finding her lost father and the character is constantly pining for him throughout the whole film.
In some ways I don’t mind the story that we have here, it still has some potential to be interesting as we watch Lara try to solve the mystery of where her father went and the journey she has to go on in order to do so. But the execution of it wasn’t that great and I think it comes down the director Roar Uthaug in the end for all this. Instead of Lara’s character going on her own journey of survival in this and the film focusing in on developing her as a character so the audience can become invested in her and her journey, much of the plot is sort of just a point a to point b adventure. Every character in the film is very two dimensional and there is no depth to any of them and this is especially bad when it comes to the villain who never seemed like much of a threat at any time in the film. The plot because of its a to b structure is predictable and I must say it gets a little boring, even for me and I’m a massive fan of Tomb Raider.
I also think that the film was trying to fit into some place between what the new video games are and the old film series was and somehow didn’t manage either. While the old film series was popular and I have no doubt that this one will be as well. The old films weren’t that great either, they were entertaining and fun and I guess this one is too, they’re both the same. I just wanted more out of this reboot.
As far as the acting goes, I felt that Alicia Vikander was actually quite good for the role. You can see in the film that she had trained hard for her part, which is quite physical. Things such as her accent and the way that she carries herself in the film were exceptionally well done. Although she doesn’t have many great lines due to the odd writing in this film, I still liked her in the role. Other actors I felt didn’t really shine at all though and it’s possibly because their characters were so bad that I can’t see anything else. If they were to make a sequel to this film, I’d happily watch Alicia Vikander in the role again.
The action part of this film is a big reason a lot of people are going to go in to see it. I can say that you will definitely get a tonne of that in this film. What I did like about this Tomb Raider movie quite a bit was that there were a lot of nods to the 2013 video game’s action sequence moments. I don’t want to spoil it, but fans will notice Alicia Vikander pulling off quite a few similar moves that her video game counter part did in the game and I as a viewer loved watching that.
The action seemed not as violent as I remember the game to be, I feel that I would be pretty comfortable taking someone who is 12 years old to watch this at the cinema and I think the film is probably aimed at people 12-15 anyway. It’s got a lot of gun shooting, but it’s not gruesome or anything. Older viewers might be feeling they need a little more from the film though.
When you do mix the action scenes with the poorly developed characters and the a to b plot style. Things don’t turn out that great, there were many times when Lara was pointing her bow at people or sprinting away from someone that I felt rather than looking powerful like the character does in the game, she instead in the film just looked silly and I think it wasn’t intentional for her to look that way. It’s sort of a shame and I wish it wasn’t that way. There was so much potential for more.
Another gripe I have with this film is the soundtrack. There’s dramatic music played throughout many of the action sequences and also many of the dramatic moments and it all sounds the same. There’s nothing from the music I felt that helped to make the scenes more suspenseful and its loudness sometimes was distracting from what I was trying to watch happen in the film with Lara. It could have been done a little better.
Overall the film isn’t a complete disaster because Alicia Vikander was actually pretty great in the role. Visually and physically she looks like Tomb Raider should look and her accent and her performances in the action sequences was great. I’d be happy to watch more from Alicia Vikander in the future and would be happy to see her return to this film series. Unfortunately the film’s plot doesn’t have much depth to it and director somehow wasn’t able to present any of the characters in a meaningful or relatable way, everyone, including Lara needed more work and it’s a shame because there was so much potential with this film. Towards the end when it was all over, I felt that maybe things were starting to look interesting though and the film ended quite well, so maybe the sequel can do things a little better. But we’ll have to wait and see to find out.