Writer: Dini Azri
Overall: 3.0 Out of 5
Cast: 4.0 Out of 5
Plot: 3.0 Out of 5
Effects: 4.0 Out of 5
Cinematography: 3.0 Out of 5
Watch this if you liked: “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” or "National Treasure"
The Good, The Bad, and the Raiding of Tombs:
Video game movies have a history of being bad. Some of which are mediocre ("Mortal Kombat", "Resident Evil") while others are just plain awful ("Postal"). It is as if video game movies are doomed to fail even when it has a good director on board, like Duncan Jones for "Warcraft". Nevertheless, Hollywood still has not given up on its mission to wow gamers and everyday audiences with their latest video game movie, "Tomb Raider".
"Tomb Raider" is a reboot of the previous "Tomb Raider" movies which starred Angelina Jolie. In this reboot, Alicia Vikander takes her place as the adrenaline junkie, Lara Croft, who is on a quest to search for her father after being lost for seven years without a single trace. She eventually finds a lead to her father's whereabouts and stumbles upon an organisation who is after the tomb of Himiko in the island of Yamatai, a Japanese legend that could cause destruction to the world.
If you were hoping for "Tomb Raider" to be the triumphant success among the 'video game movie curse', well, keep on hoping. Although "Tomb Raider" takes its cues from the critically acclaimed 2013 video game of the same name, the movie fails to show the elements of adventure and puzzle-solving from that game for the big screen.
The action-adventure aspect lacks in "Tomb Raider" due to its focus on Lara's origin story that is almost similar to the last two movies, which makes it pointless to rehash. Even if it is a reboot, the movie did not have to reintroduce the character all over again because that has already been done before a couple of years ago. Plus, I am pretty sure everybody, gamer or not, knows who Lara is.
Puzzle-solving is a huge element that the movie misses out on. Instead of bringing the audience along to solve the puzzles together, Lara solves the puzzles herself without pointing out any clues leading to it. This leaves the audience confused and feeling uninvolved in her adventures. The montage of her reading (more like skimming) her father's notebook which should have been an important part of the movie, is just breezed through without mentioning any vital information regarding her quest to Yamatai.
When making a movie based on an iconic character such as Lara Croft, the actress portraying her must be able to deliver her characteristics and bring the fictional character to life. Luckily, Alicia Vikander managed to do it just right. Although more petite than expected, she effortlessly presented her take on Lara while staying true to the source material. She is charming when she needs to slither her way out of an awkward situation and she is tough when she needs to fight off the bad guys.
The other cast were functional as their characters. Walton Goggins who plays the villain Mathias Vogel is the most menacing of all compared to other villains who were in the two previous "Tomb Raider" movies. Chinese superstar Daniel Wu is Lara's sidekick in the movie who travels to Yamatai with her. The bond between two is shown when they always help each other out no matter how dangerous the situation gets.
So, after watching the movie, the most crucial question would be: Is the video game movie genre saved? Not quite, but "Tomb Raider" is at least interesting enough to keep the audiences excited for a sequel which was hinted at the end of this movie. For now though, we are just going to have to sit through her origin story and wait for what is next for this beloved character.
Cinema Online, 08 March 2018