By Michelle Reynolds, Staff Writer
As if ripped from the video game world, people can now witness the origins of Lara Croft in the 2018 film “Tomb Raider.”
Lara Croft (Alicia Vikander) embarks on a perilous journey to her father’s last-known destination, hoping to solve the mystery of his disappearance. The film is based on the 2013 video game of the same name, which is a reboot of the previous Tomb Raider film series starring Angelina Jolie. It was released in theaters on March 16.
“Tomb Raider” has developed characters that you care for and an oversized atmosphere of adventure which made the audience feel at least a little of every emotion. These were the features the 2017 movie “The Mummy” lacked. While Tomb Raider downplayed the complexity and fun of figuring out puzzles as featured in “National Treasure,” the setting was visually stunning and lived up to the grandeur expected of a Hollywood movie.
The stunts, while some unrealistic, were to be expected since the plot was adapted from a video game and were an absolute blast to experience on the big screen. Once you get past some of the unrealistic aspects – like the father leaving puzzles for his daughter and extreme stunts that would have killed Lara in real life – this movie can only be described as an experience. The audience is always on edge, hearts pumping as they try to keep up with Lara on this crazy adventure. If you think you have seen adventure, you have not seen “Tomb Raider.” From almost falling off a waterfall, being shipwrecked, to everything else you could possibly imagine, the world throws every obstacle at Lara and she is ready to face them all.
Lara Croft is an amazing character. She is brave, determined, no-nonsense, and fun. However even when covered in bruises, she is a sensitive woman trying to find her father. Vikander, a rising star in acting, nailed this role. She was rippling with muscles and showed a range of emotions so incredibly believable.
The villain, played by Walton Goggins felt in his element with this role, playing a ruthless man who will do anything he needs to get back home to his family. What was refreshing about this villain was that he was not all bad. The drive to get back to his family was something that the audience could connect to and understand.
The sidekick and father were your standard side characters. No one was really as fleshed out as Lara. However, a pleasant surprise in the movie was the appearance of Nick Frost. He was in the movie for no more than 15 minutes and yet was an absolute hilarious delight.
The dialogue is nothing special and the overall plot is cliché, it followed the story arc you would expect. Nothing was overly shocking, but this was still a must watch. “Tomb Raider” does not show you what is happening, more as it invites you alongside to participate in the journey, either as Lara runs in the jungle while being shot at or dangling from a collapsing airplane.
Fans of the video games will be surprised by the likeness, with some scenes being direct copies of the game. Of course there were some changes, but overall, the movie felt like one big video game and did justice to its original sources. We can all tell one thing: Lara Croft would be excellent at Ninja Warrior.
While rated PG-13, this movie feels like it is in a weird limbo. The majority of the film is family friendly, filled with action you know kids are going to try to replicate when they get home, but there are some rare moments sprinkled throughout that were intense and seemed jarring from the rest of the otherwise young movie. However, do not let a handful of moments stop you from going to see it. “Tomb Raider” is a fun ride for anyone of any age.
The director, Roar Uthaug, has never done a movie this big, and as debuts go, this was a great start. 122 minutes zoomed by and it was worth every minute. “Tomb Raider” was a constant thrill and you left with the feeling of adventure. The movie ended with the perfect gateway to a sequel and I am excited to see where Lara’s next adventure will take us.