Lara Croft is easily one of the best female protagonists of all time. Her games were brilliant (some better than others, of course), and her intelligent, no-quit attitude is what earns her the title of badass. While her games were great, her films less so; until Tomb Raider (2018) arrived...
The story of Lara is a simple one; she lost her parents when she was young, and has used the wealth they left behind to travel the world in search of rare artefacts and other wonderful relics. That’s the basic version, anyway.
Despite Angelina Jolie doing a pretty decent job at playing the famed explorer from 2001 to 2003, the most recent movie completely wiped the slate and made us forget that some video game films can be rather dreadful.
Many movies based off of games may not be bad, but many of them don’t stick to the source material as much as fans would have liked; the Resident Evil franchise is a good example of this. The films were rather good, but they weren’t really game accurate.
Tomb Raider is a shining example of a video game movie done right. From the perfect casting to the story, this film is exceptional form start to finish and it’s a pretty hard movie to fault.
The film begins by showing Lara (Alicia Vikander) going by her daily life in London; she refuses to believe her father Richard (Dominic West) is dead, so will not sign the papers that hand her the inheritance, which would solve her money issues.
Without her being in her usual setting of jungles and ancient civilizations, seeing her in London first means that we can see that she is headstrong, smart, and resilient before she embarks on her journey; just as Lara should be.
Once she catches her father’s scent by solving a puzzle left for her in his will, she races off to find him the only place she thinks he would be: the island of Yamatai.
Upon arrival, after a hectic journey, Lara realises that she is way out of her depth and that this ancient island is a death-trap, with Mathias (Walton Goggins) as its leader; he cannot go home until he finds the Queen of Death, the very thing her father sought to keep from him...
From then on, Lara searches for her father while realising her mistake; she led the bad guys to exactly what they wanted while in search for her father.
What makes this film a perfect standout, is the game accuracy mixed in with adapted scenes and plot details. For example, in the games it is said her parents died in a plane crash; in the movie, her father leaves her to protect Himiko, the Death Queen, from those who would release her curse.
Leaving Richard Croft alive of course gives Lara purpose to search for him and, after all, she is still young and just wants to see her father again after seven years of uncertainty.
There are so many aspects from the 2013 game that the film was based off included in this feature, such as the insanely accurate clothing Lara wears on the island; even her iconic pickaxe from the game was seen in the movie, looking exactly the same.
Not only was her apparel spot on, the bandage around her left leg is exactly where it is in the game, and the wraps around her hands look identical; this makes the film so much more impressive and enjoyable for fans.
To get such incredible accuracy while adapting the story into a movie is outstanding; players will recognise so many things from the game, and fans of the franchise will be able to see the shift in Lara as she knows she’s made a mistake, but she will not let that hold her back; her tenacity is what makes her such a brilliant heroine.
In addition to the perfect adaptation from game to movie, we have to acknowledge the casting; Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina) is the only person who could have nailed this role. Not only does she look the part, but her screams of pain and noises of struggle go a long way in saying that she is still human, and that she is scared.
Vikander’s performance is more than stunning, it is exceptional; she perfectly embodies the Lara we all know and love, especially from the 2013 game of the same name. She even moves like the game character; twisting her body when hanging from a ledge, holding her side after being injured, and holding a bow with such confidence that masks her intense fear.
This film is simply a masterpiece, with a perfectly developed story with aspects of the game spread throughout, and with a perfect leading role, along with stunning sets and amazing special effects; if any film was to wipe the slate for video game films being bad, it would be this one.
Tomb Raider is a phenomenal movie; it keeps what fans loved from the game, while creating a new story that matched the budding character so well. Lara Croft is a true heroine, and this film proves her bravery, and that mistakes don’t define you.
Written by Melissa, who you can follow on Twitter @melissajournal
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