Movie Reviews

Movie Review: Tomb Raider (2018)


Summary: Lara Croft, the fiercely independent daughter of a missing adventurer, must push herself beyond her limits when she finds herself on the island where her father disappeared.
I love the newer games, I never really played the older versions but these newer ones are more intricate and I love the story. So I was super excited for this movie.
Cast and Characters.
  • Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft. I thought she was great. Lara is reckless and carefree and she lives on her own. As far as she knows, her father is gone and she has yet to put herself back in the “Croft” life. She’s independent and determined to make it on her own. She’s strong, when we first meet her she’s boxing, and she’s resilient and determined. We learn so much about her in that first scene, it set her up to be this awesome character. It was so cool to see Lara, a young woman, learn about her father, discover things about herself, test herself and see her actually be afraid. This Lara felt like a human which is awesome. She was also angry and sad which she used as a way to stay away from the life that was waiting for her. Alicia Vikander was great in this role, I was wondering about her when she was first cast because she looks so delicate and while I don’t think Lara needs to be all buff and stuff, it was odd. But I saw the pictures and then watching the movie, she was a great choice. She really put in the work. I believe that all of those stunts were her, I’ll confirm that later. Physically, she killed it. I also thought she did great with the emotions and how intelligent, witty, and quick Lara was. The emotional moments she had about her father were also good, I felt that. I also loved how she actually looked like she was scared whenever she was in danger, it wasn’t like she was trying to look pretty whenever she did something, I believed that she was scared. I loved her and I hope we see more Tomb Raider movies so I can see her be awesome as Lara Croft.
Supporting Characters. Lara is the main character but we do see some supporting characters throughout the movie.
  • Dominic West as Lord Richard Croft. Lara’s archaeologist father and he disappeared seven years prior to where the movie starts. Lara doesn’t really know why he went and she’s obviously angry at him for it, but we learn more about him as the movie progresses. But that’s all I’ll say and I don’t want to spoil anything else. I liked the actor though, he had great chemistry with Alicia Vikander, they felt like father and daughter.
  • Walton Goggins as Mathias Vogel. He is rival archaeologist of Richard Croft and a member of Trinity, a shadowy organization. He is on the island when Lara lands and from jump he’s shady. I don’t think I’ve really seen Walton Goggins in anything, at least nothing where he stood out to me, and he was a menacing villain in that he was a quiet one. He didn’t believe in the myths like Richard did but he was doing a job and he was determined to get his job done. Goggins plays a villain who’s intimidating, obviously out of his mind since he’s been on that island for so long and unpredictable.
  • Daniel Wu as Lu Ren. He is the ship captain who helps Lara in searching for her father. We meet him when Lara goes to Hong Kong, she found a letter leading to him and it’s an interesting first introduction. Lu Ren isn’t really up for the task, but Lara does her thing and they go together. He’s a strong character too, he’s determined to survive, resilient and pretty loyal. Daniel Wu was likable and I wish we got to see a little more of him.
  • Kristin Scott Thomas as Ana Miller. She is an associate at Richard Croft’s company, Croft Holdings. She’s not in the movie a lot but she makes a nice little impression and I’m sure we’ll see more of her in sequels. I recognized her name though from the game. I’m hip.
It’s Fun. The movie is really fun once Lara sets out on her adventure. The scene with the boat, that was really intense and I enjoyed every moment of it. There’s a lot of action scenes once she gets on the island, plus the scene with the bikes. That was great too. If you go into this movie hoping to have fun, you will have it.
Tense Action Moments. I think the movie has some great tense moments. The scene with the boat was so tense and awesome that I held me breath for a lot of it. It was exciting to watch, what I could see anyway. Later, there are some great moments in the tomb where you’re worrying what’s going to happen and I would have been on the edge of my seat if I wasn’t in my reclining seat. I thought that was handled really well.
Video Game-Like. I think the movie feels like a video game in a lot of aspects which is cool. It’s easy to see that they were inspired by a video game and that they took a lot of scenes from the video which for me, was awesome! I was so excited to see familiar scenes, where I was going like “TRIANGLE!” for what would be quick time events. I even pointed out moments to my friend where I died like 3 times in that scene before I got it right. QT events are hard lol. But because of that, I felt a bigger connection to the movie. However, if you’ve never played it, I think it being video game like isn’t a deal breaker because you get to see this young woman be badass.
The Opening History Lesson. So, the movie starts off with this narration by Lara’s father about what the movie will be about when they finally get to the island. It was fine… until we heard it again later when Lara goes through her father’s research. When we heard it again, I wondered why we didn’t cut one of them out. We didn’t need the one at the beginning if we were going to hear it again. The movie could have just started and we could have learned about what her father was doing later. It would have helped build up the mystery about him.
Starts off slow/Slows Down. So after the opening narration, there is a pocket of time where it was really fun. Watching Lara train, the scene with her bike…we learned a lot about her in those scenes but after that it feels like it takes a minute for the movie to get its sea legs. I checked my watch just to see how long it took for the adventure start and I think it was like 30 minutes. I can imagine restless people feeling a little bored until she at least gets to Hong Kong, or at least until she gets out on the water. There’s a moment in there where it gets really slow once Lara makes it on the island, I do think the movie has a bit of a pacing issue but once the action keeps going and the raiding and puzzles is happening, it’s fast paced.
Video-Game Like. While I think it’s cool that the movie feels like a video game in a lot of aspects, especially with the action scenes, I don’t think that’s always a good thing either. Because of the action scenes, it feels like any time people actually talk to each other, it feels like a cut scene. There were times where I felt the movie felt more like a video game and the video game felt like a movie a lot of times.
It was Dark. I don’t think the movie itself was dark, but it looked dark. I understand that they’re on an island and in tombs and what not, but we’re watching a movie and it shouldn’t be where I can’t really see what’s going on without lightning flashing. This happened a lot with the boat scene that kicked off the second act of the film. It was a really cool scene, I remember the game starting off that way, but it was also dark. Like I said, I get it, buuuut it should have been lit enough for it to still be dark but enough for me to see what’s going on.
The Puzzles. So the great thing about mysteries and watching people solve things, is being able to do it with them. During the scene where she was trying to figure out how to stop something from happening, I was kind of working it out with her, but it was hard to do that with anything else because it was a personal thing and it didn’t include the viewer. When Lara is tomb raiding, you want to be able to try to figure it out too, at least I do. That’s part of the reason why I like the newer games (which is what this movie is based on). There are a few things that we got to see, that I was able to figure out, but the other puzzles, I was like “awww, I wanted to do it too”.
Overall, I really enjoyed Tomb Raider, I think Alicia Vikander was a great Lara Croft and she really helped propel the movie forward. Yes, she does some stupid stuff but no adventure without stupid and determination lol. I thought she physically embodied this twenty-one year old Lara and it was great seeing where her adventures started. The supporting characters were also fine and did their job for the story. Dominic West had good chemistry with Vikander as her father, sympathetic and loving. Walton Goggins was a good and intimidating villain. The adventure was fun to experience and the action was tense and it was amazing to see all that she went through. It definitely felt video-game like in how some of the action was handled as it felt right out of the game. I also enjoyed being able to try to decipher some of the puzzles with Lara. However, because it feels like a video game, I think that also prevents it from flowing the way a movie should. There were a lot of moments where the dialogues were like cut scenes instead of movie moments. I also thought the movie was a bit too dark, it was hard to see action in certain parts. I also didn’t think the puzzles weren’t involved enough for the viewer to feel involved with the movie. But overall, I really enjoyed it.
Rating: 3.29 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Tomb Raider? What did you think about it? Was it a good adaptation?

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