After Angelina Jolie’s second and final entry as Lara Croft in Tomb Raider: The Cradle Of Life earned negative reception from both critics and viewers alike, Angelina decided to not reprise her role and move on with other projects, because she wasn’t in the mood play Lara anymore. In 2011, production company, GK Films acquired the film rights from Paramount Pictures to transfer them to Warner Bros. (WB for short) Four Years Later, WB began development by recruiting Academy Award winner, Alicia Vikander (Ex-Machina, The Danish Girl) as Lara Croft. The sole reason Alicia signed on, is because she grew up playing the games. Plus, she replayed each one as homework to gear up before filming.
After a two year period of filming, production & distributing the project, Tomb Raider opened worldwide. One producer stated that Tomb Raider is the first installment of a shared universe, involving video game franchises interconnected as one, similar to The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU for short) crossing over characters and storylines to set up a big event.
Tomb Raider earned mixed reviews from critics and fans alike. As a critic/gamer, I’m gonna get to the bottom of this to see if it’s good or bad.
This review contains a truckload of massive SPOILERS. If you’ve never got a chance to see the reboot, read at your very own risk.
Unlocked: Alicia Vikander, Walter Goggins & Dominic West all did a great job on their respective performances.
Fun Fact: Alicia Vikander is the second Oscar winner to portray Lara Croft. Angelina Jolie is the first Oscar winner as well as the first actress to portray the character. As they say, “History repeats itself.”
Action Sequences got my blood pumping including Lara inside a wrecked airplane, kept me on the edge of my seat. I’m gonna give Alicia an Extra Point, for doing all of her stunts without a body double. Somebody give her an extra paycheck for all that hard work!
Special Effects are a combination of Practial and C.G.I. Effects. Honestly, I couldn’t find anything fake from the naked eye.
We get to learn about Lara’s origins before her father left home.
Composer, Junkie XL (Mad Max: Fury Road) orchestrated the soundtrack.
The reboot is influenced by the 2013 game of the same name which also focuses on Lara’s earlier years as she must use her skills to survive from enemies & dangerous obstacles standing in her way. It also retains the gritty tone.
Nick Frost (Shaun Of The Dead, Hot Fuzz) makes a brief appearance as a gun salesmen.
The name of the ship Lara travels to the island to find her father is named, “The Endurance.” A reference to Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, about a team of astronauts, who use a spacecraft named “The Endurance,” to enter wormhole to explore planets in order to save humanity. As a Nolanist, (the name of Christopher Nolan’s fanbase) I’m totally giving this Easter Egg an Extra Point.
Locked: Unlike the 2013 reboot which was an M rated game intended for Mature Audiences, the film is rated PG-13. I think this was a wasted opportunity for producers to make it more bloodier than the previous films. Both Deadpool & Logan both deserved an R rating because the title characters reflect a shifted tone based on their diverse personalities. Deadpool is a Black Comedy that refuses to apologize to families for its content. While Logan is a Tragic Western Drama that retains Wolverine’s Old Man Logan storyline in a hard R route on why Wolverine has gone through a heck of a life. Tomb Raider on the other hand, lacked blood soaked death traps.
Shaky Cam is mostly used throughout. Who’s the cinematographer behind all this, the Coca Puffs mascot? Various cameramen/camerawomen from across the world, learn how to hold a camera still while you’re filming a scene FOR BIG PETE’S SAKE!
In The First Act, we learn that Lara lives in London, England. Near the end of the movie, a text with the word, “London” pops up. Aren’t we already aware of her British accent?
Despite elements retained from the 2013 reboot, Lara is missing something extremely important that most Tomb Raider fans are familiar with, her dual wielding pistols. The trailer lied to us that she’s gearing up for her first adventure, unfortunately she only acquires them at the end. Gonna have to Double Down this flaw for tricking us viewers/gamers. Imagine if Batman never uses his utility belt until the end of Batman Begins? Would that absolutely work? I think not!
Supporting Characters from the 2013 game, are not featured in prominent roles.
The Final Boss from the video game reboot, isn’t in it. Why didn’t they add The Yeti to fight Lara? I mean come on!
The Final Verdict: C, FOR COLON CLEANSING! (the Papa Klump way)
In my opinion, Tomb Raider missed its chance to become a critically acclaimed movie based on a video game property. The producers took a huge gamble to make a film based on a video game property, but failed to make an effort for fans of a beloved franchise. If you want to spend your money on a much better film related to video games, I strongly recommend Wreck-It-Ralph & Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle. They’ll keep you busy until Ready Player One comes out.
Similar to Man Of Steel’s rocky start to introduce a cinematic universe, Tomb Raider is a miscalculation. Who knows if another movie based game will get back on track for the untitled Video Game Cinematic Universe. Take notes producers of the proposed universe on choosing the right ingredients for future installments.
Alicia Vikander if you’re reading this, you did a good job as Lara, no disrespect, but I’m always gonna remember Angelina Jolie as the original Tomb Raider.