Alicia Vikander stars in Tomb Raider (2018)

Based on the 2013 video game of the same name and follows Lara Croft, a scrappy young woman who follows her missing father’s clues to a small uncharted island in the Pacific ocean.

The video game curse. Video game movies are the bane of most moviegoers existence, as they’re usually either bad or absolutely horrendous. Filmmakers have been trying for the better part of three decades to create a video game film adaptation that is true to the spirit of the game and its mechanics, while also delivering a good film at the same time. Most of them fall short as they usually do one of the other. Tomb Raider is yet another film that attempts to buck this trend.

Tomb Raider (mostly) succeeds with this. Filmmaker Roar Uthaug delivers a film with some really fun action set pieces that are pulled straight out of the game and yet another great performance from Alicia Vikander.

Angelina Jolie is always going to be the comparison. However, Alicia Vikander might as well have walked straight out of the video game. She might not have the build that Angelina Jolie had with the first two adaptations (ridiculous internet fanboys were angered at the size of Vikander’s bosom upon her casting announcement), but small-framed Vikander brings a physicality and bruteness to the role that really sells the action sequences. She’s also really great when it comes to the smaller more emotional moments with her father. You understand her motives and when she starts to cry from pure frustration, you want to cry right along with her.

Vikander pretty much carries the film right up to the end of the second act. Once the actual tomb raiding comes into play, the film devolves into utter convolution. The final act of the film meanders from unclever booby trap to unclever booby trap with seemingly no end, until we reach the end of the tomb and everything starts to make less and less sense. Characters start behaving in bizarre ways and the story progression becomes incredibly unsatisfying. The film is an origin story but once the credits roll, you don’t feel like Croft has really earned the title of Tomb Raider. The film is way too interested in setting up the next film to focus finishing this one in a standard cinematic way.

Tomb Raider is an interesting film. It is also one that pretty much tetters the line between being good and being bad. The first two acts of the film set up a really fun adventure film, reminiscent of Raiders of the Lost Ark and for the most part, stays pretty true to the original 2013 video game, but the last act is an utter disaster that will leave most audiences with a bad taste in their mouth. Ultimately, Tomb Raider is just an ‘okay’ film, not one that will leave you wanting to see another installment but also not one that is particularly memorable either.

Tomb Raider did not break the video game curse,
but we’re definitely on the right track.

Watch Tomb Raider via iTunes or Amazon