March, 2018


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Tomb Raider is a film based on the 2013 action videogame of the same name.

Disclaimer: Before reading the review, please note that I have enjoyed playing the latest iteration of the Tomb Raider franchise of games.

The script is well written, although slightly cheesy at moments. It makes the brave decision of treating this film as a character study for Lara Croft, as opposed to the Marvelesque action movie that, in my opinion, the audience is expecting.

On the other hand, the film runs slightly too long. There are multiple elements of the script that could have been cut out. One notable example is the entire character of Lu Ren, portrayed by Daniel Wu.

There is a large amount of credit that the writing team of Geneva Robertson-Dworet and Alastair Siddons are due for the endeavour of the screenplay for the film, despite a few missteps. Their ability take elements from a video game and successfully adapting it to a two hour movie.

Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft (L) and Daniel Wu as Lu Ren (R).
Courtesy of Warner Brothers
As this film is essentially a character study, the performances by the cast are key to the audience’s immersion into the film. Fortunately, the entire cast managed to deliver on their roles.

Alicia Vikander’s Lara feels like she has worked for all of her skills. This both due to the writing and the incredible performance by Vikander. Alicia Vikander, as should be expected, managed to encapsulate the new version of Lara Croft with an aspect of determination that enabled the actress to fully develop the character, flaws and all. The physicality that Vikander has managed to deliver in this role is a welcome surprise.

Walton Goggins and Dominic West manage to successfully ass elements of danger and caring in their portrayals of Matias Vogel and Richard Croft respectively. The two actors have managed to convert what should have been boring, stereotypical characters into fully formed people and the portrayals are a credit to the talent of both actors.

Despite his good performance, Daniel Wu’s Lu Rena, as stated earlier in the review, just seems like a wasted character. IT almost seemed as if his character was purely used as a MacGuffin in order to further the plot. While this does not take away from Wus portrayal of the character, it does take the need to care for the character away from the movie.

“Alicia Vikander’s Lara feels like she has worked for all of her skills.”
To be honest, this is the first movie directed by Roar Uthag. I do enjoy the use that he has for camera angles and his choice of shots in the movie.

He appears to enjoy getting up close and personal with the characters, in terms of his choice of shots, making them the focus of the story. He is also not afraid of allowing the camera to attempt to tell the story.

The one area where Uthag’s vision is poorly realised is in the CGI. While it is obvious that he has a preference for practical effect, when he can use them, he does not pay enough attention to the visual effects department. Most of the time the CGI looks cheap and managed to undermine the action that the film is trying to portray.

Tomb Raider is a decent film that should entertain an audience. However, the difference in tone compared to what I think the audience is expecting from this pre-summer film is jarring and might leave the general audience feeling slightly bored.

Number of times I looked at my watch: Three.

Recommendation: Watch this movie on Netflix. There is no rush to see this in the cinema.