Tomb Raider (2018):
Another victim of the "Video Game Movie" curse. I knew this was gonna be a terrible reboot as soon as I saw the trailer but boy, was I in for a treat.
First of all, it boggles my mind as onto how this movie got financed with 94 Million Dollars and got handed to people with barely any experience. Thankfully it's flopping at the box office so we won't see a sequel but whoever is using this project as means of money laundering still got their cash back. Tomb Raider made a pathetic 28Mil domestic and a total of 133Mil worldwide as of this moment.
Now let's move onto the movie itself. The writers and creators of this project had dozens of "Tomb Raider" games to seek inspiration from as well as millions of myths and legends from all around the globe, they picked the weakest concept to be converted into a movie. They chose the 2013 Tomb Raider relaunch of the game series, which focuses on a young Lara Croft going out into the world for the first time and becoming the legend that she is. NOBODY want's to see this as a movie, (I'm assuming) most of us who saw the movie are familiar with the game lore to at least a minimal extent. The developers of the game had to start fresh and make a new Lara without outrage, this movie didn't have to worry about that. Audiences wanted two hours of an epic action-adventure set in exotic locales, following the story of the most badass female hero in the world. Instead, we got to sit through an excruciating and cringy two-hour drama about a whiny, entitled, dumb "teenager" who is repeatedly humiliated at every single task that she attempts on her quest to find and save her daddy. It's not "relatable", it's just bad and sad. Personally, the casting of Alicia Vikander was the first disappointment while the movie was still in production. Why not use Camilla Luddington who the new Lara Croft is based on, played by and voiced by? Why go for a C-List actress in hopes of a higher box-office? Those choices are beyond me. Alicia's Lara reminds me of Kristen Stewart's performance of Bella in the "Twilight" series - lifeless, bland and annoying. Perhaps, it's just the horrendous writing and she's a good actress, I honestly can't tell, however I know for a fact there is lots of wasted potential in this movie. Take Walton Goggins for example, fantastic performance in The Hateful Eight, sub-par performance in Tomb Raider, however, I don't think the script gave the actors much to work with, no room to act or express themselves/their characters in this adaptation.
Literally, everything about the writing in this movie is depressingly bad, characters often speak their motivations, emotions and plot exposition through the blandest, most boring, unnatural dialogue you can possibly imagine. This movie feels like it was written by somebody who's never written a movie before. Oh wait, Geneva Robertson-Dworet who wrote this movie has never worked on a single other movie before. Shocking, I know! You know what's more shocking? She's set to write Marvel's first female-led superhero film "Captain Marvel", as well as "Sherlock Holmes 3" and the upcoming live-action adaptation of "Dungeons & Dragons". I pray to the studio executives and the "big mouse" that they take those movies away from her because they will be a train-wreck otherwise. The other contributing writer of this movie, Alastair Siddons is almost equally inexperienced with 1 movie behind their belt (which sits at a 27% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes).
If you've ever though some movie checks off every single cliche and trope of its genre, whatever movie you have in mind has a new competitor. Tomb Raider is one of the most painfully predictable movies to a point of hilarity. Literally, I was laughing my entire way through this film because it follows it's own formula beat by beat leaving nothing behind. I would honestly say it's as bad but also equally entertaining as "Suicide Squad". To be fair, I would assume that most average moviegoers who are programmed to enjoy their mindless entertainment made by a formula won't even notice anything off and shrug it off as a "decent" movie. However, if you have any amount self-respect and prior knowledge of films, I think it's safe to say this will be a great new addition to your "so bad it's good" collection of movies.
Moving on from that, the action is honestly as boring and predictable as the writing, with some of the best scenes being lifted directly, frame-by-frame from the 2013 video-game. The fighting choreography is equally "meh". The cinematography is also not this movies strong suit, nor are the special effects or acting or production design or anything really. In fact, the movie consists of maybe about 15 minutes of tomb raiding, meaning if you cut this movie down by about an hour and a half, it would make a perfect short film. Also, most importantly, even though nobody wants to see an origin story, that being the crucial part of this movie and it's plot, I'm afraid to say it fails on that promise and there is absolutely no character development at all. Maybe with the exception of cheesy lines such as "You messed with the wrong Croft" and "I guess I'm not that kind of Croft" and Croft this and Croft that and "I'll take two guns please". Get it? It's a reference for nerds like you! This movie beats it's gaming audience in the head with pointless Easter eggs and makes sure to point them out and scream about it as if we're all dumb babies.
My conclusion is that even "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" was significantly better and had its moments unlike the 2018 adaptation of "Tomb Raider". So, if you like learning from "bad Hollywood" or just want to have mindless fun or maybe need to fall asleep on a flight, this movie is for you. If you're a fan of the "Tomb Raider" franchise, be it the games or the movie franchise starring Angelina Jolie, you'll be severely disappointed. If you're a fan of the action-adventure genre and want a thrilling escape from reality, desperately trying to scratch that itch, wanting to feel the way you did when you watched movies like "Indiana Jones", "The Mummy" (original trilogy), "National Treasure" or even "Sahara" then once again, prepare for disappointment.
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