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  1. Published on: 17/03/2018 09:37 PMReported by: Film Critic
    Plot: The daughter of an adventurer of artifacts must travel to this supposedly lost island to fulfill her father's dream.

    For just over 20 years, the Tomb Raider video game franchise has become one of the most iconic and well known within the industry.

    So much so, that we are now having a third film released that based off the video game series.

    Whilst I was completely aware of the pop culture towards Lara Croft, I had never played the game as it was exclusively on Playstation and Sega, and I was a Nintendo guy.

    As for the films, the hype surrounding the first one in 2001 was insane. The casting of Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft was a master stroke. She had the perfect likeness of Croft, and Jolie was certainly at the peak of her powers. There was also a sequel in 2003. The films themselves were not that great, but they had a lot of campy fun to its tone which made it a guilty pleasure for some people.

    Will this modern re-imagining of the this franchise work, or will it fall under the curse of video games that continues to expand. Just for the record, I don't think there is a curse anymore as I really like Warcraft: The Beginning and it's a shame that never got the box office it deserved. Apart from China where it did amazingly well.

    Like I said before, I have never played the game. So I did research a little bit of research once seeing it. It seems they are using the story from the 2013 game as a foundation. With that in mind, onto the film.

    I found the set-up part of the film fairly intriguing and there is one set-piece that is shot really well and gives you hope for the rest of the film. There are some action moments that reminded me of Peter Jackson's King Kong.

    As for the rest of the film, it was nice seeing an adventure/expedition film as it is certainly a sub-genre that we rarely see these days. Outside, there was not that much else that really struck my eye. Don't worry, there was nothing wrong with film. Just very little that inspired me to talk about afterwards.

    From an casting point of view, I was cautious having Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft, as they seem to be taking the character from a different angle compared to Angelina Jolie. That being said, I thought she did pretty well. The physical side of her performance was pretty strong. Vikander coped well with hand-to-hand combat moments and they gave her plenty of screen-time to show us her strength and determination. It also gave us a lot of vulnerability to her character that I could get on board with.

    Sadly, there wasn't that much else to comment on. It was great seeing Walter Goggins as I remember him well from The Hateful Eight. As for this, he felt like a generic villain with little or no threat and barely a backstory for us to care for him. I'm not sure if they knew what to do with him.

    Dominic West I think did what we expect of him. He's a pretty solid actor. But I have rarely see him do anything exceptional.

    I felt Daniel Wu's character had the potential of stealing the show in his supporting role. But in the end, it just felt another character to do satisfactory support for Vikander.

    A final mention goes to Derek Jacobi and Kristin Scott Thomas. It was great seeing some genuine class in this screen. It's just a shame that are in for about a handful of scenes.

    It's biggest strengths are definitely from its technical team. The romping and heavy beat score by Junkie XL maintains his recent reputation and is a welcomed addition with some of the best such as Mad Max: Fury Road.

    The production design looked pretty cool. There are some nice practical sets mixing in with its segment that take place on natural landscape. Also I felt the CGI merged in well with the practical parts.

    However, its weaknesses are lead by its writing and character development. The script is as factory standard and cliched as they come. Compared to many films based off a video game, it's pretty solid and functional. But if I put it up with every other film, it takes no risks, it just did everything to a passable level and it did not amount to much.

    As a video game adaptation, it seems that the film-makers have been pretty accurate from what I've heard. As a film, it's not great and nothing ground-breaking. However. it is pretty solid from start to finish and serves its purposes at the very minimum. Vikander is great and there was just enough sense of adventure to keep my interest.

    But with a lacking script, everything being predictable and every character outside of Vikander being pretty unmemorable, it was no more than functional.

    The mythology of this world never really hooked me. However, I would not object to a sequel just yet, as this certainly has the potential to be up there with Indiana Jones. It's just a matter of having the right high-quality film-maker and screen-writers on board.

    Speaking of a sequel, with this film using the plot from the 2013 game, don't be surprised if the potential sequel is called 'Rise Of The Tomb Raider'. This is due to it being the next game in that particular era within the franchise.

    Rating: 7/10
     

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