By Caitlin Brenner, E23 Reporter

This article contains possible spoilers for “Tomb Raider.”

To tell the same story with a fresh face, Alicia Vikander takes on the role of Lara Croft in “Tomb Raider.” While the beginning of the film has a slow build, the added action and suspense give a strong impression of the film’s video game origin.

Starring Alicia Vikander and Dominic West, of “The Danish Girl” and “The Wire” respectively, the characters offer necessary charm in order for the viewer to stay engaged during slower scenes. While the film obviously draws from its video game and Angelina Jolie-led films, at its core, “Tomb Raider” is about a father’s love for his daughter.

Alicia Vikander smiles on a 2015 Comic-Con panel.

Alicia Vikander plays Lara Croft in the 2018 reboot (Source: Wikimedia Commons).

The movie’s beginning introduces the tale of Himiko, a Japanese monarch with magical powers who was buried alive in a tomb on an unreachable island. Richard Croft, Lara’s father, took it upon himself to find the tomb and discover if Himiko’s supernatural abilities were real. Refusing to believe he is dead, Lara searches for the truth and for her missing father.

Lara teams up with Lu Ren (Daniel Wu), a drunken sailor whose father also went missing on Richard Croft’s exhibition. After getting caught in a storm, which is strikingly similar to the “Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End” shipwreck scene, the two are captured by Mathias Vogel (Walton Goggins) and his men. Desperate to return home after seven years, Mathias will stop at nothing to open the tomb of Himiko. There aren’t many layers to his character, but the film doesn’t need anything more. He’s the typical video game antagonist; his heartlessness makes him the true source of evil on the island.

For the slower scenes that may leave some viewers bored, it’s the characters that save the day. Scenes between Lara and her father give the film a more human touch, bringing the story down to earth instead of being all gung-ho action. Vikander’s portrayal is less of a superhuman adventurer and more of a strong, impulsive woman that will stop at nothing in search of the truth. This honest rendition of a well-known character gives the story a charm that some adventure films lack.

There were a few moments of humor in the film to balance out the action, especially in the film’s beginning. Lara’s interaction with a pawn shop owner offers some laughs, ending with her spilling his coffee on him when their meeting doesn’t go her way. Other than that, humor tended to be an afterthought in the duration of the film. I think this was a wise decision. The movie could have quickly become a tonal mess by forcing jokes into the storyline.

It will come as no surprise that “Tomb Raider” gave off strong impressions of a video game, almost like watching a walkthrough online. The setting, stealth scenes and the overall adventure had a similar layout to a video game structure. The slower scenes felt like the cutscenes you sit through in order to get to the action, and the action scenes made you want to step in and control what was happening. That being said, the special effects in the film were entertaining but not anything spectacular. Most of the moments inside of the tomb had subpar effects with the booby traps, making the scenes feel more like an overdone rendition of “Indiana Jones.”

The film paid homage to its console counterpart in different scenes, such as its puzzle-solving sequences and Lara desperately climbing the remains of a plane to avoid plummeting to her death. These intense moments and jumps that Lara realistically should not be able to make keep the audience eagerly waiting for more. As far as breaking the supposed “video game movie curse,” this rendition of “Tomb Raider” did not amaze me the way I hoped it would.

It’s very rare that video games have successful movie counterparts, and while this film was entertaining, it didn’t blow me away. As a fan of video games myself, I enjoyed seeing the similarities between action scenes and gameplay. However, in terms of being the end-all cure to the transition from console to screen, “Tomb Raider” was better than many video game films I’ve seen but is not the answer.

Overall, I rate “Tomb Raider” a 7/10. While the beginning was a bit slow for my taste, the pace gradually picked up as the film continued. Alicia Vikander was a great choice for the beloved Lara Croft. Her fiery personality and genuine emotion throughout the movie summed up a commendable performance all-around. It’s no question how much Lara Croft has changed since the ‘90s, not to mention the addition of more clothing to her wardrobe. Whether you’re a fan of the original story or not, this revamped character still has something to offer for everyone.

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