Video game movies always are difficult to translate from one medium to the next. With it being a platform where you are able to choose your own path when it comes to gameplay today compared to the previous years of a simplistic stories. This film is a simplistic standard action adventure that you’ve seen before but is still pleasant to watch. Though the dialogue could be clunky at points and too on the nose, it doesn’t detract from enjoying the film. It does fall into a few tropes which you begin to piece together the beats of the film.
Those faults out of the way the film should be praised for Alicia Vikander’s performance as Lara Croft. Her portrayal is more subdued an a more accurate portrayal of a modern feminist icon. She has her faults and learns from them. She is never a ‘Mary Sue’ or someone who thinks shes better than a man. There are several points in the film where she either shows her acting chops in her face by letting us see her think how to survive situations. She also makes fun of the situation she is in which keeps the film grounded and doesn’t take itself too seriously.
All myths are foundations of reality.
Sure there could have been better plot points written to not borrow too heavily from other films, but if you’re trying to set up a franchise and video game movies haven’t work much in the past — taking the high road and having a safe simple plot isn’t a bad place to start. I did appreciate the tone of the film, it felt very much like the 2013 edition of the game (from what it is based off of) and another similar game, ‘Uncharted’. I enjoy action adventures with complex characters which are present on screen. This film felt more grounded in comparison to the two Angelina Jolie flicks. The supernatural was present and it had fun with the supernatural, this one has those elements in play but it in a realistic setting.
I did appreciate the performances by the secondary cast including Dominic West as her father, Richard Croft. Daniel Wu was a great male lead to the film who wasn’t a love interest for Lara, just a male co-star. It is very rare a male co-star in a female led action film isn’t related/been previously in a relationship. Walton Goggins plays your standard video game villain, which he is in the film. The video game elements of cut scenes and playable sections in an RPG felt real in this film. I could tell where scenes would be been either cut scenes or a part of the game I needed to play to move on into the next level.
I would say if you’re an action adventure fan and want to see a pleasant matinee this is a good recommend. It is good on the big screen and the effects do warrant it, but it isn’t necessary to watch immediately. If you’re going out to support more films that have female led action heroines in a positive portrayal, please go out and see this film.