Wed | Dec 19, 2018

'Tomb Raider' moves at near rigor mortis pace

Published:Monday | April 2, 2018 | 12:00 AMDamian Levy/Gleaner Writer
Tough, resilient and determined, Academy Award® winner Alicia Vikander in the lead role as Lara Croft in Tomb Raider.
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Movies often don't come directly from the writers' room. More often than not, films are based on novels, comic books, or even other movies. It's a formula that has worked and continues to - except for video games.

If a movie is based on video game, it's a safe bet to assume that it won't be film of the year. It boggles the mind as to why. So many video games follow the same basic plot structure as your typical blockbuster. A protagonist, an antagonist, and a progression of the plot that becomes more taxing on the main character as the story goes on.

Does the most recent Tomb Raider adaptation pull off this seemingly obvious translation? Well, for the most part, yes. Tomb Raider, starring Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft, functions as quite possibly the best movie based on a video game. However, with the bar set so low, that's not very high praise.

Tomb Raider delves more into the character of Lara Croft than ever before. You learn about her connection to her father, her penchant for danger, and her desire to stand out. Her motivations are clear. Seven years after her father's disappearance, Lara discovers details about his secret life as an adventurer. In an attempt to find out more about his life, she embarks on a death-defying journey to his last known location. It is an island where (you guessed it) an ancient tomb resides.

The issue with Tomb Raider is entirely in execution. The details of the story, the characters, and even the environments make for a fine action movie. It's only when the movie gets bogged down by slow pacing and actors who are in dire need of a caffeine boost that it becomes the sub-par film that it is.

The movie, on a whole, is fine. It's a simplistic one, but that's a far cry from the worst thing an action movie can be. Fans of the Tomb Raider franchise won't fall out of love upon seeing it, but it might be best to wait until it's released for home video. I didn't feel as though the film dishonoured the character, but it is in no way the triumphant success that video game fans hoped it would be.

Rating: Catch it on cable.