I suppose this was going to come naturally since I absolutely love the TR series. I’ve played many of the games and thoroughly enjoy them.
When I first saw the trailer for TR, I was a little… sad. Maybe sad isn’t the word. Maybe it was a concern for what Hollywood would do to such a great series…
As expected, this movie did not live up to certain expectations, and also surpassed other expectations. I didn’t hate the movie at all. I rather enjoyed the film despite its flaws. I don’t want to go into all the detail per se because the movie is actually worth watching.
Needless to say, SPOILERS AHEAD!
I appreciated the beginning section where we got a backstory to Lara Croft. She doesn’t want handouts. She works hard to pay off debts. She’s very capable as a combatant. She is also an extremely likable character. Some of the lines made me laugh ridiculously (for better or worse for my viewing buddy…). And nowhere in the game does Lara Croft scream biker chick with a penchant for making money in unique ways. That said, I enjoyed her methods of acquiring money and who doesn’t love badass biker chicks?
Lara is also a practiced mixed martial artist (at least that’s the impression I got from the fighting style). Even though she isn’t a superhero when it comes to martial arts, she’s still a kickass character and I love her. Though, at several moments during the film, the actress seemed to move more like a trained dancer. There was just something in the way that she moved that gave me more of a dancer vibe than a martial artist, however, it worked brilliantly. This actress can fight or, the stunt double is fricken amazing and the splicing was OP AF! Anyways, some of the moves she used definitely felt more MMA than anything else. Don’t hate me though, I’m not a martial artist. If that isn’t the style that was used in the movie, I’m sorry… I just loved how realistic this fighting style seemed to be than some movies out there.
There were moments I dreaded like Lara being whisked away by the powerful water currents, and my remembering that in the game the number of times you can horribly die. As a friend once said to me, Square-Enix excels at making the player not want to experience their horrible repetitive fates by dying…over…and over.. and over again. I winced while Lara was in the water (Play the game. You’ll understand why).
I dreaded the tomb entrance and the many horrible things you get to experience down there. I’m quite glad that some of those things were glossed over… Anyone up for that skull room again? Yeah… I’m not…
Like my lovely friend Sonia, I too was upset that there was no Sam present in the film. WHERE WAS SAM?! My God! Instead of giving her her best friend, you gave us her father, which still fits the cannon of the story, but the whole point of the game is to stop Himiko. Himiko is trying to escape the island by using certain people as her vessels to succeed in her mission. And the whole vessel idea was done away with in the movie. This movie should have been longer if they kept the concept of protecting your friend.
Don’t get me wrong, they did a fantastic job of showing how REAL things can be in terms of pain, death, emotion, humour, familial bonds etc… When Lara goes down, you genuinely feel for her. In the game, Lara Croft complains too much, even after killing 100+ guys. It’s overbearing in my opinion. However, in the movie, her believable emotions shows that Lara is still human. Thankfully, she is changed by the experiences, and even though she doesn’t like it, there is a greater purpose to it all. She feels remorse.
Lara Croft is NOT a pathetic character. She doesn’t magically fall for some guy. She genuinely kicks ass (small boobs or not.) I loved her sense of humour, her charm, her intelligence. This is why the Tomb Raider series always takes me in. Her resolve is inspiring.
Also, where the hell was the actual army? You get rekt in the game if you enter a particular room where the army is.. And fighting them doesn’t help either… You gotta be stealthy in there. Did I miss something here? Were the tombs the only indication of Himiko’s evil army? GAH! Don’t be sloppy. I know its a movie but there’s plenty of CGI to go around for 50+ guys in a room…
Not having Roth in the movie was sad. I was expecting him there. I was expecting an epic boat scene, and that never came. And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, play the game! There were some awesome conflicts with the characters from when they are on the boat. That said, if they had included that character, the movie would have been much longer because he was an integral piece of the game. Instead, they’ve cleverly taken him out, Sam out, and found a way to design this movie as a sequel. I’m actually kinda happy about that because we can get another kick ass movie with a heroine that isn’t helpless and pathetic. At the same time, I’m sad because there were relationships that I wanted.
Oh! One more thing. I like how there were a couple of save points in the game that became transition moments in the film. When it starts to rain and she runs off to find shelter, Lara wakes up inside a little cave. Later on in the film, when Lara finds her dad, he is creating a fire. In the game, when you found a firepit, you had a save point… See? There were some awesome things about the movie!
I suppose we can’t have everything. As much as I enjoyed the movie, there were things I’d had kept from the game to satisfy the fans. Don’t let my review stop you though. I still enjoyed this movie and think it’s still worth seeing.
Overall, I’d give this movie a 3.5 out of 5.
And with that.. I’m going to bed.