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Tomb Raider Movie Review by Ms. H

Written by RealMsH

Disclaimer:  The views expressed here are mine alone and do not represent those of

Introduction to Tomb Raider Movie Review by Ms. H

Before this movie was released, the rumor mill indicated the movie plays the same as the 2013 Tomb Raider video game. In other words, if you played the video game, there was no use in seeing the movie. However, I have a different opinion. While the Tomb Raider movie is not Oscar quality by a long shot, it is a movie worth seeing. There were parts of the movie that followed the video game, but instead of being negatives, I saw these scenes as not only positives, but they stood out to me as highlights of the movie.

Alicia Vikander versus Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft in  Tomb Raider Movies

You may be curious to know who played Lara Croft best -- Alicia Vikander or Angelina Jolie. My short answer is there is no contest -- Angelina Jolie wins. The long answer is it is no question in my mind that Angelina Jolie played a better Lara Croft than Alicia Vikander.  By comparison, Alicia Vikander gave me the impression of not fully embodying who the character of Tomb Raider really was. Tomb Raider as played by Angelina Jolie showed more depth in character while Alicia Vikander gave mixed impressions to me as to who Lara Croft was.  Spoiler Alert:  For example at the beginning of the movie, you see Lara Croft cracking jokes and trying to act comical -- which is not a character trait usually identified with Lara Croft. By contrast, Angelina Jolie played the character as a serious action character who was not only brave in many situations, but was inquisitive as well -- hence Lara Croft's interest in the field of archaeology.

Start of the Tomb Raider Movie

I expected light banter to occur between Lara Croft and other characters in the movie, especially at the beginning -- which of course happened. I liked that the action scenes started early in the movie. However, I got the impression that Alicia Vikander was channeling Spider-man as she  raced her bike against competitors and made jokes as alluded to previously. A plus was this changed when the movie moved on to show her searching for her father as well as the Himiko artifact.  In my opinion it was creative when during one of the scenes, she managed to open a gigantic tomb by following the code that she had “practiced” on using a much smaller model.

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Plot of Tomb Raider Movie

I think the plot of Tomb Raider needed fine tuning.  If the overall mission of Tomb Raider’s Lara Croft was to find her lost father, then the movie demonstrated a rather hackneyed plot that has been used in movies many times before. However, there was also the goal of finding this artifact character by the name of Himiko. The plot could have been streamlined to leave her father out of the movie, except for flashbacks and have her concentrate on finding Himiko as well as all the side adventures and obstacles she would encounter during her search.  Also when this Himiko character was located, the movie took on a sort of horror story atmosphere which does not correlate to Lara Croft’s adventures in the Tomb Raider video game. The theme of Tomb Raider is one of discovery and adventures by Lara Croft, rather than unmasking horrors, grotesque transformations, etc.

Tomb Raider Movie and the  Video Game

There were a few action scenes that seemed to be extracted directly from the 2013 Tomb Raider video game. I had the fortune to play this particular video game from beginning to end -- so I’m aware of all the action scenes. The movie seemed to take on a life of its own whenever Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft was doing such things as accosting the plane wreckage,  swinging from ropes, crossing bridges that were precariously located above treacherous waters and her other video game inspired adventures.

Assessment of Tomb Raider Movie

I believe casting an actor in a role is an important part of movie-making.  When the audience looks at the character, they should be able to believe that even though this person is acting, he or she is a good fit for the character.  I think, for the most part Alicia Vikander, was miscast as Lara Croft in the Tomb Raider movie. Except for the outfit she wore during the adventure scenes of the movie, she was not in my opinion, believable as Lara Croft. I liked that during her adventure scenes, she wore the outfit that I used for her mostly in the adventure video game. However, she appeared too frail and weak to take on all the action scenes required for the movie. Of course some of these scenes were done by stunt people, so it’s not a big deal.  

Alicia Vikander seemed capable in most of the running scenes, however not so much regarding the other scenes. For example, the scenes with her hanging from structures seemed too much for her.  If she was not already taken as Wonder Woman, I think Gal Gadot would have made an excellent Lara Croft. Since she’s unavailable, some other actor fitting of Lara Croft could have been cast who looked like she had the stamina to sustain the actions involved in the Tomb Raider movie. Other than the miscasting, I think the movie, Tomb Raider is worth seeing, even if you see it just for the action scenes.

Rating of Tomb Raider Movie

Based on a rating of 1 star to five stars, with five stars being the best, I rate Tomb Raider 2 ¾ stars.

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