Tomb Raider

I am going to open this with a very bold statement I think that Tomb Raider may be the film that breaks the cycle of bad video game adaptions. First off let me just say that this film is not without its problems, some problems were just little things some were fundamental issues. The most prominent being the pacing, the film itself is far far too long. Some sequences feel needlessly drawn out and, others feel rushed. Additionally, whilst the screenplay is mostly quite good in parts it does feel a little too familiar to the games in a way that makes certain sections quite predictable. Furthermore, some of the dialogue seemed quite cliched and stilted, really taking me out of the film. On the positive side, Alicia Vikander is a great Lara Croft.Vikander captures the look of Lara Croft perfectly, (especially when you compare her to the new Crystal Dynamics Lara Croft). Vikander also manages to capture that sense of adventure that so drives Lara as a character. What’s more, Vikander’s heroine is incredibly likeable, charming and warm. Continuing on, the theme of fathers and daughters in this film is quite touching, yes it is somewhat predictable and has been done before but, I think it is done quite well here. Unlike in the recent games, her father Richard Croft is quite a big part of the overall story. Overall Lord Richard Croft is quite a memorable character thanks to a well-acted performance from Dominic West. West manages to elevate a lot of the dialogue and really sells this emotional bond between Richard and Lara. The film has a lot of nods to things fans of the game series would recognise, some subtle some not so subtle. All of these fan service moments feel quite natural and not forced in for the sake of it. The comedy of the film comes from Max played by Nick Frost. Frost’s character is a welcomed change of pace in the few scenes he’s in. Another good aspect of the film is the score which is incredibly well done with a lot of the music adding to the themes and message of the film. Furthermore, the non-diegetic sound for this film is also brilliant with all the grunts and moans from Lara being very reminiscent of the recent games where we can see the physical toll that adventuring has on her. Walton Goggins’ character of Vogel is a menacing presence for the films second act if a little two dimensional. However, by the third act, he starts to unravel and makes baffling choice after baffling choice. Though the ending of the film was shameless sequel bait, I believe it was quite well done as it sets up a whole lot of directions that the series could move in if this film proves popular. I would recommend this for fans of the game series and newcomers alike.
Reviewed by Luke

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