Movie Review: Tomb Raider

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On March 16, the newest adaptation of the “Tomb Raider” story was released in theaters, and although the fast-paced action sequences were exciting to watch, the movie itself falls a little short of living up to the two video games published by Square Enix: the self titled reboot of the “Tomb Raider” saga released in 2013, and the “Rise of The Tomb Raider” that was released in 2015.

Official promotional poster for "Tomb Raider." (Photo from Daily Express)

The movie stars Alicia Vikander in the main role as Lara Croft. Dominic West is cast as Lara’s father Richard Croft, and Walton Goggins stars as the film’s main protagonist Mathias Vogel. Although Vikander has shown that she is a very capable actress in her previous films, and was also named in Forbes’ best 30 actors under 30 list. The direction and the story does not really allow Vikander to really show her talents as an actress. There are times you get the feeling watching the film that with the movie’s plot, that maybe someone else would be better suited to be cast in this role.

The plot itself is loosely based around the 2013 game, with a couple of major changes to the story. These changes are where the movie loses a bit of intrigue. It seemed that MGM studios wanted to make a story that was similar to the earlier “Tomb Raider” movies that fans remembered with Angelina Jolie. If MGM would have stuck with the original plot that Square Enix had written for the 2013 game, and had done a true adaptation to it, the movie would have been a better success.

The movie runs just a little bit short of 2 hours. In those two hours, the film is filled with heart racing action scenes that seem to want to take up the whole of the movie. The action scenes are good, but leave little for character development. That is somewhat lacking when it comes to telling this story as an “origins” one. The film leaves little development to the main character. You want to find out the details of Lara’s life. Also when she is out in the wilderness trying to survive, you want to see the evolution of her character to the one she ultimately will become by movie’s end.

“Tomb Raider” ends on a cliff hanger, and it is very possible that we will see more movies in the future. Hopefully with a little bit better writing and direction the films can live up to a standard that fans of the series will come to love. For now, the movie series has gotten off to an alright start. But, improvements can definitely be made for future releases.

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