Director: Roar Uthaug
Running Time: 2h 2m
Cast: Alicia Vikander, Daniel Wu, Walton Goggins, Kristen Scott Thomas, Dominic West
Movie Score: 80%
*[0-50%-red (poor); 50-70%-yellow (average to good, better and promising); 70-90%-green (very good to great); 90-100%-blue (outstanding to perfect and a masterpiece)]
So, another new video game flick, titled Tomb Raider, has finally been released (not worldwide yet), though it’s arrived early in India, than its scheduled date for the US and rest of the world, to hit the screens.
The film is a reboot flick in its own near-dead franchise, that saw two past films, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) and Tomb Raider: Cradle of Life (2003) performing disastrously. And observing the consistent trend or say ‘curse’, on many failed ‘video game to movie adaptations’ (Warcraft, Need for Speed, Assassin’s Creed, Tekken, Prince of Persia Resident Evil series et al), there was a dying hope of whether there will ever be any great or good video game movie!
And now, Tomb Raider has also arrived, with Alicia Vikander taking the mantle of the most popular and admired female video game protagonist for more than two decades!
But the most important question is: Did the reboot Tomb Raider flick break the jinx?
The answer is, definitely yes! This is the Lara Croft that had to appear on the big screen, way before than now-but, nevertheless.
Though, this Roar Uthaug (The Wave) directorial is not the Wonder Woman, it’s the best video game movie ever! And it’s got plenty of reasons for being proud of itself.
The first and obvious one is Alicia Vikander. The Ex-Machina Oscar winning actress is the star and heart of this flick. She’s killed it, literally!
Vikander has put all her efforts, hardwork, talent and brilliance in the titular role. When she’s on the screen, her sorrows, pain, emotions can be clearly felt and you can actually relate to what she’s going through. Director Roar Uthaug aptly chose The Danish Girl actress to portray this character, and what a result she’s given!
The plot is straight from the 2013 blockbuster reboot game itself, by the same name. The story follows Lara, the girl who, despite having a vast fortune of her father’s empire, denies it and instead, lives a life of a common, struggling person. But one day, she comes to know about a secret regarding her father’s research on a mythical island and supernatural stuff which influences her to head towards a mysterious island in the hope of finding her lost father, while also discovering something even more unprecedented.
Since there was less to make changes in the story, so the various pieces have been taken from the game and fitted into the different scenes-properly.
And seriously speaking, this is a video game’s protagonist’s story so highlighting other characters is not always a necessity. And here too, it’s the same thing. Uthaug has given Vikander most of the screen time while the rest of the cast has done justice to what they had to do.
Another acclaimed actor, Walter Goggins, who’s played the main villain, Mathias Vogel, in the film is good and even better than most of the previous video game films (even the superhero flicks too). His character in some scenes was just exciting to look at and gave glimpses of an evilness in him.
Daniel Wu and Dominic West have portrayed their parts well, especially Wu, who played an ally/friend of Vikander’s Croft, on her adventurous and deadly journey-although his role doesn’t get elongated for a considerable time.
But since, it’s a short film also at just 2 hours, there had to be some limits. Even Kristen Scott Thomas’s role was not given much screen time, but she was suspiciously good, with a great truth about her getting revealed towards the end!
Which, without any doubt means that there will be a sequel too, and that’s understandable, since it being a reboot film, after which there will be succeeding parts in this ‘now freshly energized franchise’!
Talking about the other aspects, the most shining thing about Tomb Raider is its action choreography and excellent shooting of many sequences. The VFX is used less and looks more realistic-which, it is.
Some scenes are directly from the 2013 game and happily speaking, they are awesome-watching on the big screen.
Yet, it’s not a flawless film, and so it also deals with some negatives. Like I mentioned above, the rest of the cast didn’t get much detailed screen time due to the short length. Another element I noticed was the lack of an even more developed plot. Though, it’s strictly from the game, still some more twists could have made it more enthralling.
But these are trivial points, as I found this film to be a straightforward, greatly directed flick, just like Patty Jenkins’s last year’s DC flick, Wonder Woman. The only difference between Tomb Raider and WW, is the plot treatment-a bit up and a bit down-which made the latter a revolutionizing, critical and a blockbuster box-office success.
But coming one more time to the Lara Croft herself, Vikander has instilled life in the character by unexpected body transformation and turning herself into a ripped girl-rest is just fantastic about her. She’s the finest Lara Croft, leaving Angelina Jolie’s portayal far-far behind (just completely incomparable).
Tomb Raider can still be called by far the best entry in the video game to movie adaptations. Probably a great effort, after many years-promising to deliver even more excellence, in the future installments.
Don’t miss this, for Alicia Vikander has carried this film solely on her own shoulders by her true performance.