The Tomb Raider reboot is the best movie based by a video game to date, but sadly it is still incredibly mediocre.
Lara Croft was the first major video game action heroine and in this film she is being portrayed by swedish actress Alicia Vikander, Among the co-stars we have Dominic West, Daniel Wu and Kristin Scott Thomas.
So. The storyline follows the game from 2013. Lara Croft sets out on a mission to Japan to figure out what happened to her father, and to stop the evil organization Trinity from releasing a deadly virus on the world.
Let us begin with the acting. Alicia Vikander is one amazing actress, and her portrayal as Lara Croft is a capable powerful heroine with a strong personality. She is not objectified, as Hollywood tends to do with female characters and that is quite amazing. Her chemistry with the Dominic West as her long lost father and Daniel Wu the captain is believable and astonishing.
The directing is done by norwegian Roar Uthaug in his Hollywood debut. He has previously made some good films here in Norway with The Wave from 2015 being the highlight of his career. Now Tomb Raider is a pretty massive IP as a Hollywood debut. He is very loyal to the game and there are some issues with the narrative of the film, the first hour feels very long, the second hour is amazing.
The main problem with the narrative is that the story works very well as a video game, but not that good in cinema. The film does not really manage to put up a origin story for Lara and when she is thrown into the action she is the only character that manages to stand out. The film has some great action sequences and the CGI is also astonishing to look at.
The cinematography by George Richmond is impressive and he manages to frame the actions sequences very well and even in the middle of the jungle the way the camera follows the actors creates the suspense throughout the film.
Tomb Raider feels like a film that has spirit. and that is why I like most of it. Amazing bow and arrow action, ancient evil spirits, an evil organization that apparently controls the world and great sound effects, and the only one who can save everyone is Alicia Vikanders astonishing acting talent.
Tomb Raider is supposed to be filled with great action sequences, and that is also where the movie shines at it’s best.
It feels like Tomb Raider is the start of a new decent movie universe, Square Enix has apparently said that they want to explore IPs like Deux Ex, Hitman and Thief as well as Tomb Raider, and there are allusions to a sequel happening. The genre specialst Roar Uthaug delivers a pretty decent Hollywood debut but the casting of Alicia Vikander is what saves the entire movie.