Alicia VikanderDominic West...
3DAction & Adventure
In 1 Cinema
Tomb Raider is an adaptation of the 2013 video game reboot, under the same name. This reboot aimed to take Lara Croft away from her original sexualized depiction, and move forward with a less sexist, and more grounded, approach. Thematically, the film draws heavy inspiration from the reboot.
So, let’s start with Lara Croft, as performed by Alicia Vikander. Vikander’s performance added a certain layer of vulnerability to Croft’s character, without taking away from Croft’s sheer physical and emotional strength. In other words, Vikander’s performance largely humanized Croft’s character, to the extent where audiences forgot that Croft is originally a video game character. Aside from this humanized portrayal, the film brilliantly re-creates certain aspects of the video game’s world, including its action sequences. Indeed, much like the video game, the film puts Croft through emotional and physical hell, making her a very inspiring female superhero type protagonist.
The real triumph of this film, is how it takes certain plot elements and, instead of diverging into more fantastical elements, maintains a more grounded approach. This is not say, however, that the film wasn’t home to some suspension of disbelief (it is a video game adaptation after all). For the most part, Lara Croft survives everything you could possibly imagine; from falling out of planes to getting dragged down waterfalls, this film combines Vikander’s humanizing portrayal of Croft, with incredible CGI, to produce a character that is both real and unreal.
That being said, certain elements – exclusive to the film’s plot – seem to drag down the video game’s plot pace. While this doesn’t really take away from the experience of the film, it is still a double-edged sword. On the one hand, some audience members enjoy video game based film features specifically because they promise constant tension, and a fast paced approach when it comes to resolving more dramatic plot events. On the other hand, the fact that this film veers away from fully living up to these promises is more ideal for a narrative feature’s story line.
While video game adaptations have an infamous curse for being usually bad or completely unfaithful to the game, Tomb Raider breaks this curse by turning Lara Croft into an inspiring heroine, one that could survive whatever life throws at her. In other words, Tomb Raider has set its main character as a heroine with enough strength, will, and intelligence, to inspire any woman and/or young girl around the world.
In fact, Tomb Raider‘s plot line incomparably excels at achieving this former point. While 2017’s feature Wonder Woman does provide audiences with a female superhero, Croft being initially depicted as a vulnerable young girl who transitions into a strong woman by the film’s end, makes the latter of the characters much more accessible to all women, and all humans. As such, Tomb Raider not only offers a novel approach on stories of strong women, but it also sets the bar very high when it comes to cinematic video game adaptations.