Sluggish Reaction: Tomb Raider (movie)

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So I’ve been catching up on my video game adaptations recently!! I’ve had this on my Netflix watchlist for a while and finally got around to watching it. It was a fun ride and I was glad to hear from Movie News Net that a sequel is in the works.

Plot

Richard Croft

After her father goes missing Lara abandons her life as an heiress and makes a living as a courier while keeping up her martial arts and agility as well as her keen mind and ability to solve puzzles. The latter comes into effect when she is compelled to declare her father dead in-absentia  and uncovers a puzzle that leads her to an ancient tomb where an ancient Japanese Empress with the power to kill with merely a touch is said to be buried.

I thought the plot opened up well and built up to the final confrontation as well as setting up for a larger conflict, which again I’m relieved to hear is going ahead.

Lara Croft

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I liked Lara’s portrayal in the film by Alicia Vikander. She struck a good balance between posh and relatable with her character having seen how the other half lived. Also, reflecting the change in direction for the game franchise Lara is tough but certainly not invincible, she is agile but not superhuman and she is skilled but not infallible and when she took up her bow it was refreshing to see her miss some shots rather than turn into Hawkeye with no context.

All her skills were set up by either flashbacks to her life at Croft Manor or by her street-smart life as a young adult. She looked scared when things were scary and acted out of necessity. The more down to earth approach worked well for the film.

Action

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For the most part the action was fine. As I said Lara didn’t abruptly become some sort of superhero and the fighting felt realistic for what you’d expect from an inexperienced yet very capable and determined young hero. The one downside for me was the set-piece with the broken plane which just went on for far too long – in fact I shouted “Oh, come on!” at the exact same time as Lara, which just took me out of the movie.

Verdict

The movie was good…not great, but good. Unlike Assassin’s Creed I couldn’t put my finger on any major flaws and I perfectly enjoyed it. It didn’t blow me away, but then I wasn’t asking it to. I enjoy the games but I’m not a diehard fan so I don’t have any attachment to them for this film to fulfil or disappoint. What I was expecting was an engaging action film with a strong female lead and on that score it absolutely delivered.

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