Well, to be frank, Tomb Raider movie is basically a lot like the reboot game of Tomb Raider that we saw in 2013. It is heavily influenced by it, yes, but the latter part of the plot has been morphed enough to present us something different and new. The good thing is that it eliminates everything unnatural, thus winking at the plausibility. Ergo becoming a flick that’s a lot more relatable.
All myths are foundations of reality.
It is one of those rare flicks made on a popular game that happens to be pretty good. That being said, it would be safe to say maybe the curse has been lifted. But is it really that good? Well, to be honest, that territory is a tad debatable.
Tomb Raider movie feels like a game, so much that it almost feels like you are supposed to press a button on your console. There are moments that are slapped directly from the game. Like that plane bit sequence – a series of unfortunate events that wouldn’t let you catch a break. You almost blurt out why are things going so downhill for Lara all the time? Then you remember because Roar Uthaug, the director, wished it to be more game-like.
There are instances aplenty wherein you will feel how Lara keeps getting lucky all the time, narrowly escaping death on countless occasions. Her life is the perfect literal paragon of ‘living on the edge’. There are so many situations deliberately put in that it makes you question – is it all for real?
Tomb Raider Movie Plot (Spoilers)
The nice thing about the flick is its plot. However, it barely scratches the surface of the Himiko storyline. that we had seen in the game. The good thing is that it takes that story and turns it into something delectable nevertheless.
Tomb Raider starts off with a grown-up Lara Croft trying to earn a living as a bike courier despite she being the daughter of Richard Croft (Dominic West), the business tycoon who went missing on one of his adventures. Left with no choice but to claim her inheritance (or her father’s estate would be sold off) Lara returns home.
She finds a recorded message of her father telling her about his research on Himiko, a Yamatai queen who had power over life and death. In the video message, Richard asks Lara to delete and destroy all his research work so as to stop it from falling into wrong hands. She doesn’t comply and decides to further the research.
The mystery of the disappearance of Richard Croft leads Lara to Hong Kong where she tracks Lu Ren (Daniel Wu). Lu’s father had been missing too. Lu steers his ship ‘Endurance’ into the sea cutting a deal with Lara to help her reach the Island of Yamatai.
Mathias Vogel – The Antagonist
Washed ashore after their ship is annihilated, Lara wakes up in front of Mathias Vogel (Walton Goggins) who bluntly claims that he had killed her father. He unravels his intentions to locate Himiko’s tomb and with Lara literally bringing her father’s work to him, the job becomes much easier. Lara discovers that the mission is funded by an organization called Trinity that wished to harness Himiko’s power.
Finding their moment, Lu who had been captured too helps her escape. A series of events wash her down as she ends up finding none other than her father in a cave. Convinced to retrieve his research from Mathias she goes back despite her father trying to stop her. She infiltrates the Trinity camp and retrieves the research. The chaos that follows as she tries to save the local fishermen and Lu draws out Richard in front of Himiko’s tomb.
Left with no choice but to save her father she agrees to help Mathias into opening Himiko’s tomb. As the world beyond unfurls Lara and the crew faces challenges that they overcome one by one until they end up right next to Himiko’s sarcophagus. The theme of Tomb Raider movie suddenly becomes darker as if a ghost is about to jump them any second.
There they discover that Himiko’s true power is nothing but a disease that spread with her mere touch and that she had deliberately decided to put herself in a tomb so as to save the outer world from getting infected. Two Trinity soldiers get infected immediately upon touching the corpse and the disease starts disintegrating them like wildfire. Vogel decides to not remove the body but take a finger instead which he seals in a pouch.
A fight ensues and Richard becomes infected too. He chooses to stay behind and destroy the whole tomb to stop the virus from infecting the rest of the world. Before the bomb goes off Lara fights Vogel feeding him the finger he had so carefully removed from the tomb before kicking him into an abyss. She somehow manages to escape as she, Lu and the remaining fishermen hijack Trinity’s extraction helicopter to escape the island.
Back in London Lara accepts her inheritance and discovers that one of Trinity’s company was Patna whose name was slapped on the crates that Mathias and his men carried around. Figuring out Ana Miller (Kristin Scott Thomas) to be Trinity’s agent who lured Lara into signing the inheritance to hold the company’s rein, Lara gets ready for the next mission wielding her signature dual pistols.
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Hits and Misses
While there were a lot of hits in terms of what Roar chose to depict, there were plenty of misses in the movie too. If you take a look at the father and daughter relationship shown in the movie, even though milked enough, it all feels somehow contrived and deliberated. You feel the absence of real emotions with Dominic West failing to live the moment.
Being a gaming movie it tries to cut down on the emotional quotient beyond limit, and focuses more on instances and challenges that keep Lara constantly on the run. Tomb Raider movie decides to finish its run inside the tomb which feels like a smothered world. We could have done so much more had they taken the aftermath outside.
One of the biggest downsides is that it becomes utterly game like. You can feel as if you are playing a game on countless occasions. Like all the problems Lara faces trying to track down her father, or the time she gets washed up at the shore, or that escape, it all insinuates that you are indeed playing a game. Somehow I feel that’s not a bad thing. But there’s just too much of it. The way ugly things keep happening to her takes away realism even though it is understandable.
The good thing is that the movie literally revives everything we had loved about Lara Croft’s game growing up. The mission doesn’t feel like a mission more like something that befell Lara’s life. It has been well weaved into its alluring storyline. It doesn’t play on the supernatural herein and makes the world a lot more believable which is something that was immediately admirable.
The Final Verdict
Tomb Raider movie is a new take on what we had grown up playing. It is simply amazing that we have a great actress Alicia Vikander playing Lara Croft who does proper justice to the role of the protagonist. You can read all the emotions on her face that make you relate to the character more. She isn’t as stylish to look at as Angelina was once, yes agreed but that has and should never be the point of a hero. Everyone can be a hero, and that should be the point.
Here the pain feels real. The suffering feels real. That Lara was just a girl caught in a whirlpool of mishaps. That’s what makes Tomb Raider movie thoroughly enjoyable.
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that we have finally found a movie that has been brilliantly adapted from a game. A rare vault from last year’s debacle Assassin’s Creed. Don’t know why I brought Michael Fassbender up here. 😉
At last, I guess it would be safe to say that the curse has been broken.