Tomb Raider (2018) review
Lara Croft, the female Indiana-Jones inheriting Batman like fortunes and rolling with Punisher’esque gun-toting likeness, is back! But is it the same Lara that we last saw in 2003 in the much ridiculed Lara Croft Tomb Raider : Cradle of Life?
Definitely NO. She has been revamped along the new gaming-avatar that has taken the console gaming arena in past few years. Her age, backstory, choice of weapons and clothing here matches more from there that with the Angelina Jolie’s character that was based on the PC games of the late 1990s. This one is based on the 2013 Tomb Raider video game and the storyline of the movie follows the exact same plot as well.
The movie opens with Lara’s character working as a delivery girl who has been dealing with her father’s death since past 7 years and is not ready to inherit her fortunes. After a minor/comic run-in with the police authorities her father’s second in command Ana Miller convinces her to return back and sign some inheritance papers. These would transfer the entire Croft fortune to Lara, and establish her father, Richard Croft as legally dead. Just before signing the papers, she is handed a Japanese wooden puzzle box which she is immediately able to unlock.
The Chase Begins
This further leads her to her father’s gave in their family grave tomb, where he had established a secret room where he dabbled in more Mystical/Adventurous/Treasure-hunting pursuits. Lara sees a video message from him, which takes her down a roller coaster ride from Hong-Kong to Yamatai (an island in the middle of so called ‘Devil Sea’), where an organisation called Trinity has been searching for the Tomb of an evil Japanese empress Himiko to take over her destructive power for themselves.
What ensues is a chase down between Lara and Trinity’s men led by a cold-blooded killer names Mathias Vogel (played brilliantly by Walton Goggins) to find and to open the Tomb and stop Himiko’s power to rise again.
The 3rd Act
The movie becomes a cat-and-mouse game, and soon the mouse (Lara that is) is trapped well by the cat (Vogel) who forces her to open the tomb, solve its challenges and lead them to the mummy of Himiko that might give them the power of Death that she possesses. But what is this evil power they are all after, and do they get to it? Watch the movie to find out.
The most obvious thing every movie-goer would do is a comparison, between this reboot and the 2001 Lara Croft Tomb Raider movie. In that aspect here are my key thoughts:
- Angelina Jolie certainly had a better screen presence, audience attention grab, and charisma than Alicia Vikander. Somehow, she feels like aspiring to become Lara Croft in some scenes, but falls flatly in most. Her acting skills (which got her an Oscar last year) are somehow not coming out very well in the role as Lara Croft.
- The storyline is less action-packed! Yes exactly if you compare the 2001 Tomb Raider had tons of cool fight sequences, hand-to-hand combat scenes and here she succumbs to even one single opponent Vogel.
- The locations are far less exotic, and feel less mystical. Compared with the locations of Iceland and Cambodia for their major scenes in 2001 movie, this 2018 reboot chooses a remote island with far less exotic features – the island of Yamatai seems like another LOST’s island that is home to some secrets underneath.
- The movie tries to follow the 2013 video game frame-by-frame, that is just too much! It completely renders some of the most intense sequences as predictable and almost mannequin like while Alicia Vikander in playing them.
So even though this 2018 reboot is rated 7+ on imdb, whereas the 2001 movie is a 5.8, it sure was a ton of fun, which this reboot fails to be.
The movie’s editing also seems a bit choppy, and individual pieces somehow don’t fit very well. Story also isn’t fluid enough as the characters don’t seem to have a mind, rather than just be following a line.
There are some brilliant pieces of acting (specially by the Trinity’s evil henchman Vogel), but Alicia Vikander doesn’t quite fit the shoes of Lara Croft I feel. Gamers who feel the 2013 reboot version was better than the 90s games might feel otherwise, but I would still say this movie lacks charisma and an action-oriented appeal which I feel suited her more.
It is at best a one time watch, catch it in theatres or wait for a Blu-Ray release; won’t make much difference.
Ratings: (3 / 5)
A Business Analyst by profession, but more a traveller who is trying to analyse millennia of history, culture and stories across the world more than often.
I like to collect things – coins, stamps, books, autographs, and most of all action figures. Comics and pop culture has been an active influence to shape my life goals. In my free time (which I have very rarely) I like to do pencil sketching.
Secret wish – to visit every (real/inspired) place Tintin visited.