Is Tomb Raider (2018 Film) convincing proof that video game movies could work?
Tomb Raider (2018 Film) Synopsis
Despite being heiress to a massive fortune, Lara Croft leads a reckless and impoverished life in London, unable to come to terms with her father’s sudden disappearance. When she finally brings herself to sign the inheritance papers, she discovers a series of clues pinpointing her father’s final expedition and location. Hiring the services of Hong Kong skipper Lu Ren, Lara then proceeds to the uncharted island of Yamatai, hopeful that her father might still be alive. There, she is swiftly captured by the mercenary forces of Mathias Vogel. She also learns the truth about the secret her father sacrificed his life to protect.
I think it’s long accepted by most audiences that video game movies seldom work. Recent efforts seem to suggest otherwise, but on the whole, it still looks the case that video games just do not convert into movies well.
Worse, try remedying any effort by tweaking story or characters, and one ends up incurring the never-ending wrath of hard-core fans. This then becomes a death trap given such fans are the most likely viewers in the first place. There just seems no easy way out of this cycle.
Be it story or action sequences, Tomb Raider (2018 Film) is similarly plagued by these issues, the most obvious example of which being how Lara Croft alternates between being intrepid daredevil and clueless rich girl thrown into an adult world of subterfuge and murder. At times, it feels almost as if the movie is torn between which versions of Lara to portray. The more popularly known i.e. sexybomb explorer version, or the more realistic origins version.
That said, the careful build-up of Lara’s character and history before her “real” adventure greatly contributes to smoothing out these discrepancies. I put it this way, you can’t help but want to believe her story and personality. This is, in turn, further reinforced by Alicia Vikander’s splendid performance. Her screen presence and attractiveness easily rival that of husband Michael Fassbender. With her and the overall careful handling of the story, Tomb Raider 2018 looks to be convincing proof that video game movies could work after all. I certainly wouldn’t mind a sequel after a year or so.
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