Photo courtesy of IMDB
Story by Nick Lester / Contributing Writer
They say that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. If that’s true, Lara Croft should be able to bench-press a mountain by now. The new “Tomb Raider” movie, starring Swedish actress Alicia Vikander as the titular character Lara Croft, is trying to break the unspoken curse of movies based on video games turning out to be mediocre. Audiences have seen this happen with “Warcraft,” “ Assassin’s Creed” and “Resident Evil.” Did “Tomb Raider” succeed? Not really, but it’s not completely terrible.
To give credit where credit is due, the film is overall pretty well made. The special effects are impressive, the stunt work looks realistic, the musical score is solid and the main actors hold their own, especially
Alicia Vikander and Dominic West. The action sequences, though a little over-the-top, predictable and unrealistic at times, are still exciting.
The film reminded me of the “Indiana Jones” movies because of its overall style and look — and I mean that as a compliment. Lara Croft experiences a lot of the same things Indiana Jones experiences in his movies. So, if you like the Indiana Jones movies you’ll probably like this movie too.
Another thing I noticed about this movie is its use of jump-scares. It’s not supposed to be a horror movie, but it does have several scary moments. If you don’t mind jump-scares, the last half hour of this movie won’t bother you. Otherwise, I’d advise staying away.
The villain wasn’t very impressive either. He had a simple plan with generic motives, and even a lot of what he said was very basic and unoriginal. Though Walton Goggins gave a solid performance, unfortunately his character felt largely uninspired.
The biggest issue I had with this movie is its cookie-cutter plot. While the film is certainly exciting, the thrills within the plot aren’t original. It also doesn’t introduce audiences to any new or original concepts. If you’ve seen enough action movies, you’ll probably be able to predict a handful of the moments in this movie. This is probably why it doesn’t really stand out from the other video game films that came before it.
Something else that’s worth taking note of is the overabundance of suspension of disbelief that’s required to enjoy this movie. Some of the main characters, especially Lara, seem to survive things that definitely would’ve killed a normal person. However, Lara seems to survive them for no other apparent reason besides the fact that she’s the film’s protagonist. She’s basically be a female combination of Bruce Wayne and Indiana Jones, which shouldn’t mean she’s indestructible, but it certainly seems like this movie believes it does.
Overall, even though it doesn’t break the curse that seems to haunt recent video game movies, it definitely isn’t as disappointing as some of the other films have been. If you’re looking for a nail-biting, action-packed thriller and you aren’t too demanding when it comes to storylines, then I would highly recommend seeing “Tomb Raider” at your local theater.
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