I live in a house with a cat called “Lara”. She was named this for her ability to “shimmy” along ledges after the Legend of the Tomb Raider, “Lara Croft”.
This will give you some context for the love of Tomb Raider in the Ryan household. There was much anticipation for this and having played all of the series including the “The Rise of the Tomb Raider” which this movie was based on, there was excitement was in the air!
For those of you unaware of the franchise, Tomb Raider was the popular video game first released in “1996” on the first PlayStation. It’s a game that focuses on solving elaborate puzzles,jumping, climbing and shootouts in far-flung locations with historical magic relics at the heart of the adventures.
This film was based on the re-release of the series with a fresh take on the story. Instead of being the invincible gun-toting genius big boobed billionaire, we have the younger version of the woman finding herself on the first of her epic adventures. The “Rise of the Tomb Raider” as it were, shows Lara Croft’s journey from an inexperienced novice through to a bow wielding gymnastic riddle solver.
Tomb Raider’s story follows the story of Lara Croft as she is thrown from her city London life to a Mysterious Japanese Island. Here a legend of a buried Queen drew her Father and maybe here she can solve the riddle of her Father’s disappearance. it’s similar to Batman begins in the likes of it being an origin story of an orphaned millionaire denies their inheritance, and the story has VERY strong similarities throughout.
The first half of the film really builds the story and there is a sense of realism included that makes the storytelling enjoyable. The Casting of Lara Croft by Alicia Vikander (“Ex Machina”) works very well. She does an excellent job and has a knack for portraying pain on-screen and she’s believable in the role.
There are some plot points which are very clever and pay homage to the original games. Thumbs up from an avid fan for these.
The inclusion of Nick Frost was the highlight of the support roles and my only contention was that he was only on-screen for 5 minutes. More Frost Please!!
The Casting in this was really on point.
The second half of the Movie starts to blend into the usual token cliché’s. It was disappointing for the last 30 minutes of the movie, as you could see the story line just follow the steps to try to create a new franchise. Also, there’s a weird similarity to Hunger Games unrelated to the Archery. You’ll see it and think “They stole that from Hunger Games”
The worst element of the film for me was a storm scene by which the use of so much CGI and flashing light for lightning had me nauseous in my seat. It was uncomfortable to watch and difficult to focus on what was happening. I ended up looking away and picking up again when the flashing stopped. Just a word of Warning, Maybe it’s better to sit very near the back.
There were a number of scenes like this throughout the film. It’s trying to set a real sense of pace but it ends up just being disorienting. A bit like a Jason Bourne fight scene. It’s happening, but you don’t know how, and not in a good way.
Would I see it again?
I’m on the fence when I ask myself this. If I were to go with another Tomb Raider fan, I might enjoy seeing their reaction to it. It’s come a long way from the Angelie Jolie version, which was pretty cringe worthy but this one isn’t quite hitting the mark either. The weak story progression and disorienting CGI make it difficult to give it 10/10. It’s Good but not Excellent. It’ll be hard to win over fans but it’s a good attempt at least.