We’ve been asking Hollywood for a long time to give us at least one good film adaptation based on a video game. Well that took forever… We’ve been getting garbage such as Hitman: Agent 47, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, and don’t forget the classic Super Mario Bros. movie. This time, 2018 brings us Tomb Raider, which stars Alicia Vikander in the lead role of the iconic Lara Croft. Based on the popular Tomb Raider video game series, it also serves as a reboot of the Angelina Jolie films. Surprising enough, it at least tries to stick to the source material and be a fun popcorn flick.
After Lara’s father Richard Croft (Dominic West) goes missing on an island, she decides to go rescue him and find out more about what he’s been up to. With the help of a sailor named Lu Ren (Daniel Wu), they now go on their adventure to save her dad and stop the main antagonist Mathias Vogel (Walton Goggins) from reaching the tomb. And yes, the plot is simple as that.
Alicia Vikander actually does a great job playing Lara Croft after previously being portrayed by Angelina Jolie in the first two films. She shines in the action scenes, and her stunt work is absolutely amazing. You can tell her she’s committed to the role, and that she wants to do the character justice for the fans. Vikander is the best part of the movie, but unfortunately the rest of the characters don’t really stand out as much as her. They’re functional in what they’re supposed to do, but you’re not going to say they steal the show. Walton Goggins, known for his role in the acclaimed series Justified, could have been played by any other actor, honestly. He never comes across as menacing, and it’s a shame because his screen presence is completely wasted here.
While it’s important to acknowledge that sometimes it succeeds in being an entertaining popcorn flick, the first twenty minutes of the film are painfully slow. You get that it’s there to set up Lara Croft’s backstory as quickly as possible, but some scenes didn’t do anything for the story and the characters. It’s like you’re watching a Tomb Raider movie to see her go through her adventure, but it’s going to take a while. However, the rest of the movie makes up for its rocky start and gives what you want to see on screen.
Tomb Raider isn’t breaking any new ground besides the fact that it’s arguably the best video game film adaptation so far. Alicia Vikander is great in the lead role even if the rest of the cast is somewhat forgettable. If you’re a fan of the Tomb Raider franchise, this might be what you’ve been waiting for. Even if you don’t know anything about the source material, it’s still an enjoyable adventure film starring one of the most popular video game characters of all time. If it’s getting a sequel, let’s hope it’s as decent as this instalment.
Tomb Raider is now playing in theatres.