Fish and Cherries Productions

Creative content from a mad mind.


Reel Snippet – Tomb Raider

Summary: Lara Croft (Alicia Vikander) is set to inherit enormous wealth and land, but she’s hesitant, for to do so would be declaring her dad (Dominic West) dead. While searching through his affects, she finally finds a clue to the nature of his seven year disappearance: the legend of a mystical queen named Himiko who was forced into exile on an uncharted island off the Pacific-Asian coast called Yamatai. Her ship ride goes less than swimmingly and she finds herself stranded on Yamatai at the mercy of a crazed man named Vogel (Walton Goggins) and his mercenary army. It’s up to Lara to survive her predicament and untangle the mystery of Himiko’s tomb and her missing father.

Review: Tomb Raider was quite the mixed bag, containing some stuff I liked and loads I didn’t. Still, I can count it as one of the better video game movies… though given the reputation of video game movies, that shouldn’t be taken as a glowing endorsement. There’s something that just doesn’t translate from game to screen, though it’s hard to pin down what. Watching Lara Croft jump around and shoot people down is a lot less fun than making it happen with a controller or keyboard, so what you wind up with is half an experience.

I’m not going to compare the movie to the game too much because to do so involves spoilers, but I will say that the actual stuff in the game (surviving the crash, traversing the island, and raiding an actual tomb) only takes up the last half of the film. The first half involves Lara struggling with her life and partaking in admittedly fun scenes of fighting and bike riding. That said, it does strike me as filler — stuff like a chase scene around Hong Kong and haggling with Nick Frost as a pawn shop owner just serve to get in the way of what most people have come to see. One more comparison: why the f*** does it take her until the last fifteen minutes to get the climbing hammer? She used that thing more than her guns in the bloody game.

Judging things on their own, there’s an interesting dissonance with our leading lady. Alicia Vikander is a fairly good actress and a dead wringer for Lara, but Lara herself, to put it bluntly, sucks. For the first half of the movie, she has to rely and other people and happenstance to get her out of a jam due to her own failings. Her first action scene ends with her biking into a car and one scene involving her going over a waterfall would have ended in her death if not for her bound hands accidentally getting stuck on an outcropping. I’m not asking that she kick butt right out of the gate, but Indiana Jones relies on a lot more skill in his outings, so Ms. Croft’s character doesn’t look great by comparison.

There were definitely good elements like the puzzles and certain moments in Himiko’s tomb that called back to the game and as I mentioned the acting was good. That said, while I remember myself liking more of the movie than I’ve shown in this piece, thinking back I can’t remember why. Part of it might have been that my expectations, as per video game movie standards, were somewhere around “wet garbage,” so it certainly impressed by comparison. But while it’s not awful or even that bad, if it weren’t for the video game connections or the fact that I was doing reviews, I don’t think I would have gone out of my way to see it.

Fun Tidbit: So here’s something that ties some video game movies together: Alicia Vikander recently married Michael Fassbender, who starred in the poorly-received Assassin’s Creed movie.

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