When it comes to transporting video games into cinema, Hollywood is still to learn the ‘game’. Continuing the trend of capitalizing on the brand and restricting to the demands of the mass, fan and nerds, TOMB RAIDER as a movie has nothing fresh and novel to offer, it borrows heavily from the 2013 reboot of the video game that starred Angelina Jolie and its predictable plus melodramatic.
It seems the idea was to target the younger generation so the superstar Angelina Jolie is replaced by the thirteen years younger and 2015 Oscar winning Swedish actor Alicia Vikander (THE DANISH GIRL). Vikander in comparison is raw but she lacks the invulnerability, the aura and she is not the superhuman we want. She is more human in the film which has more VFX than the previous one and less excitement.
Lara Croft (Alicia Vikander) is the fiercely independent daughter of an eccentric adventurer who vanished when she was scarcely a teen. Now a young woman of 21 without any real focus or purpose, Lara navigates the chaotic streets of trendy East London as a bike courier, barely making the rent, and takes college courses, rarely making it to class. Determined to forge her own path, she refuses to take the reins of her father Lord Croft (Dominic West) global empire just as staunchly as she rejects the idea that he’s truly gone. Advised to face the facts and move forward after seven years without him, even Lara can’t understand what drives her to finally solve the puzzle of his mysterious death. Going explicitly against his final wishes, she leaves everything she knows behind in search of her dad’s last-known destination: a fabled tomb of Japanese goddess on a mythical island with the help from of an alcoholic fisherman Lu Ren (Daniel Wu), the island might be somewhere off the coast of Japan.
Norwegian filmmaker Roar Uthaug doesn,t do much good to the character, the movie or the franchise. It’s a recycle bombarded with heavy VFX to make it appear bigger. The 2018 version lacks fresh characters and it’s bland as far as innovations are concerned.
Alicia Vikander is a gifted actress but as Lara Croft, she is bland. As said earlier, the movie is single mindedly designed for diehard fans and nerds and they may enjoy the heavy VFX.
Hollywood adopts comics in much better way and has given the delight from time to time but that day in video games is still to come. TOMB RAIDER is not more than a video game getting played on the silver screen, the nerds may love it but I have a suspicion they might wonder why the game is not played by them and why the remote is not in their hands.