Director: Roar Uthaug
Starring: Alicia Vikander, Dominic West, Walton Goggins, Daniel Wu
Video Games have always had a hard time translating their themes and stories into the world of film. Most attempts fall far short, with a scant few ever reaching the status of being an actual good movie. Tonight's film is based on the based on the "Tomb Raider" series of games, most specifically the series' 2013 Reboot. Now I love this entry into the series, and it is one of my favorite action adventure games of all time. It completely reinvented the series, and the character of Lara Croft, thrusting them back into the spotlight after languishing in the shadows for years after the dismal "Angel of Darkness". As far as film adaptations of the character go, this will be the third time Ms. Croft has graced the silver screen. Angelina Jolie portrayed her in two films in 2001, and 2003 respectively, and while they are fun movies in their own right, they never really did much for me. So when tonight's film was announced as being based on my favorite game in the series, I was cautiously optimistic. So where does this movie lie in the pantheon of game to movie adaptations? Let's dive right in and find out!
Ever since her adventurer father disappeared while she was young, Lara has grown up actively distancing herself from the family name. After finding his secret study full of his research about a secret island off the coast of japan, she decides to follow in his footsteps and solve the mystery of his disappearance.
I'm sad to say that this newest video game to movie transition did not go as smoothly as hoped. That is not to say that this new Tomb Raider is a bad movie, it just doesn't do anything that you haven't seen before. None of the action sequences are particularly exciting, the story follows a very predictable path, and worst of all it never really nails the development of Lara from reluctant adventurer, to full blown heroine like the game did. Now to be fair the game had about fifteen hours to do so, and this movie only gets a scant two. When you are hoping to introduce a new version of a character though, you have to do better than this. Not everything is such gloomy news though. In the plus column for the film is a terrific performance from Alicia Vikander as Lara, she really treats the role seriously and has a few standout moments that really felt like the game version of Ms Croft. Heres hoping Alicia gets another shot at this role and the film makers put in a bit more effort, because out of all the game properties out there being adapted to film, Tomb Raider seems to me to be the most logical one to break the video game to movie curse.
Trivia from IMDB for Tomb Raider:
For this film, Alicia Vikander wanted to play a strong and physically fit Lara Croft, so her goal was to gain enough muscle and strength. Co-Star Walton Goggins stated that: "She is just a real powerhouse. She made me embarrassed to take my shirt off, and I go to the gym five days a week!"
Alicia Vikander was a fan of the video game series growing up.
Alicia Vikander said in an interview on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon that she did most of her own stunts, let alone had to repeat some of them.
Movie Night Bonus Content: MikeyB's Favorite Video Game Adaptation
Director: Christophe Gans
Starring: Radha Mitchell, Laurie Holden, Sean Bean
Based on the horror Video Game series of the same name, this 2006 movie is my favorite game adaptation of all time. With absolutely pitch perfect sets, and wonderful gruesome practical effects, this film perfectly captures the look, feel, and themes from the games, but manages to package them into a horror movie that can stand on its own its own merits in the genre. Highly recommend to fans of the genre and series.