Next Entertainment: Tomb Raider Review

THE LOWDOWN
A reboot of the classic game Tomb Raider, Lara Croft is on her first adventure following her father’s footsteps, unbeknownst to her, as a tomb raider. The myth of a death queen, Himiko, turns into reality when her father goes missing and Lara refuses to accept his death. She stumbles upon a series of clues and hidden artefacts that take her to an island off the coast of Japan, and the sinister ongoings of a global corporation – Trinity, with a face off to see who the ultimate Tomb Raider will be.

THE GOOD
I enjoyed this Tomb Raider, and I believe most people will too. It’s definitely in the category of mind-numbing entertainment with not much more happening at a deeper level. Sometimes we need these types of films. Buy or rent the DVD, make yourself some popcorn, pour a large coke – and let the world pass you by while you are transported into the world of another’s.

Let’s do a bit of a checklist to see why you should give this a watch:

  • Script and storyline? Not bad. Check.
  • Acting: Believable. Check.
  • Action and Entertainment value: Great. Check.
  • All in all. Not a bad night in.

THE BAD
I’m sure by now you have guessed I was saving some comments for this section. After seeing the making of the film (also featured on the DVD release), I understand why my expectation of Lara Croft’s character should have been readjusted. At first, she immediately comes off as weak and well, beatable. Not a heroine of a story at all. Seeing that this was a true origin story, I understand now that there needs to be growth and struggle in a hero’s story for them to become who they are destined to become. But I still maintain, I needed more from the Lara I grew to love and know. It is after all, still a tool for buying into the sequels that are sure to follow, and I think they could have sold me more on her extraordinary-ness (if that’s a word). With me, it’s always about two things, casting and scripting. I can accept Alicia Vikander as someone who can hopefully soon give us the grit and strength of a Lara Croft, but with Walton Goggins who plays the villain, it is just something personal I have against his acting style. We just caught him in another villain role in Ant-Man and The Wasp, and again, he taints the big screen for me. Bygones.

THE CHERRY ON TOP 
The DVD release features Tomb Raider: Uncovered, a look at the behind the scenes efforts to create the reboot of the franchise. Narratives by Director Roan Uthaug and Producer Graham King, explain the choice of taking the story back to the origin of Lara Croft’s identity and contextual background. Whereas previous films had already established the character and depended quite heavily on the popularity of the gaming character, this seeks to start a story a new, showing an authentic, believable side to her and Croft’s journey. A close up with all the film’s characters shows insight as to cast synergy and buy-in to a devotion to each character. Special mention to Franklin Henson, the film’s stunt coordinator, who had his work cut out for him. Where one wouldn’t say off hand that this was a difficult movie to make, this featurette reminds you of key scenes that were quite breathtaking and absolutely believable as great action sequences. What you won’t know is the film was shot in South Africa to achieve the balance of gritty and beautiful landscapes we get, to see recreating all the island (and Hong Kong which was recreated in the ports of Cape Town) scenes in Tomb Raider. And then of course, the main character (for me, anyway) – the tomb. Which is where all memories and nostalgia for gaming references comes to life. Greatly created and fun to explore.

Tomb Raider is available now on DVD from Next Entertainment. For other movie reviews, check them out and like their page on Facebook.

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