Tomb Raider (2018) Movie Review

Lara Croft is the fiercely independent daughter of an eccentric adventurer who vanished years earlier. Hoping to solve the mystery of her father’s disappearance, Croft embarks on a perilous journey to his last-known destination – a fabled tomb on a mythical island that might be somewhere off the coast of Japan. The stakes couldn’t be higher as Lara must rely on her sharp mind, blind faith and stubborn spirit to venture into the unknown.

Contains some spoilers…

2018’s Tomb Raider is a reboot of the early 2000’s series. Now, based on the 2013 video game, Alicia Vikander stars as Lara Croft set on an all new adventure into… a tomb.

As an origin story, this movie serves its purpose and features tons of action and mystery shrouding the plot. I know many were skeptical of the reboot in general but also of Alicia Vikander specifically. I had seen a few of her works before so I had no doubts that she had the chops to pull it off. And in the end, I was pleasantly surprised with the final product. At an estimated budget of $90 million, this March flick definitely isn’t meant to be a box office breaker like last month’s Black Panther, nor should you treat it as such. Rather, sit back and enjoy a thrilling tale of how Lara Croft becomes the Tomb Raider of today.

I really enjoyed the overall tone of the movie and, as far as video game movies go, I thought Tomb Raider carried itself very well. There were some great performances along with touching chemistry. And if the movie continues to perform well, I’d be interested to see how and if these characters will progress in the sequel.

In terms of the direction, I was surprised to discover that the director Roar Uthaug has such a short resume. Mainly working on Norwegian films, Tomb Raider pretty much marks his first Hollywood movie. But you wouldn’t believe it while watching it! So here goes a quick breakdown of the movie’s different elements:

SCORE

Story: 8 – I was pretty impressed with how the story turned out. Tomb Raider’s writers also have very short resumes. I suppose this turned out for the better, since there’s less for fans to “compare”. Though it wasn’t a completely original story idea, I thought it was still a fresh take on the puzzle/mystery genre.
Acting: 9 – There are only a few main cast members, so expect a lot of screen time between them all. But despite being a video game movie, the cheesiness level was relatively low. Great acting by Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft and Walton Goggins as Mathias Vogel. I had high hopes for Daniel Wu as well, but he didn’t get involved as much as I had hoped.
Soundtrack: 7 – Dutch composer Junkie XL worked on the music in this movie. You may remember some of his work in Mad Max: Fury Road, Deadpool, or Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. If you liked those soundtracks, then this is right up your alley. While Tomb Raider doesn’t seem like the same category as those other movies, Junkie XL’s music complemented the look & feel of this one pretty well! Definitely not your typical musical score but also pretty forgettable.
Production: 8 – Again, for $90 million, this isn’t a massive CGI/end of the world/superhero blockbuster. There are a handful of moments of digital elements, understandably so, but much of the movie seemed to be composed of practical effects. That’s pretty essential for making a movie about Lara Croft to be somewhat believable to the viewer. I, for one, am glad they don’t go the over-produced route.
X-Factor: 8 – The aspect of this movie that stood out on its own is the cinematography. With a movie like this, visuals are everything when the main protagonist is all about exploration and adventure. We want beautiful shots, landscapes, smooth camerawork. And it looks to be all there! I was pretty wowed actually. I love a movie with stunning sights and Tomb Raider’s got it.

Overall: 8

Prepare for a few twists! Tomb Raider was pretty fun and there were moments where I felt like I was watching cut scenes in a video game. I thought they did the character justice and made the movie captivating from beginning to end with a nice blend of “action-packed” and “cryptic”!

Tomb Raider is rated PG-13 with a running time of 118 minutes and hits theaters March 16, 2018.

Directed by Roar Uthaug.

Starring Alicia Vikander, Dominic West, Walton Goggins, Daniel Wu, and Kristin Scott Thomas.

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