The new Tomb Raider film adaptation hasn’t exactly gotten off to a promising start, what with a bizarre movie poster featuring star Alicia Vikander with an elongated neck. Now that we’ve seen a little more of the movie beyond the trailer, having had a proper look at what the new movie has to offer, it’s, well, dismal.
Perhaps dismal isn’t the word for it. I haven’t seen the film yet, after all. It’s probably very watchable. It might even be entertaining. But does it truly capture the vibe from the two excellent games that sprang forth from the 2013 reboot of the series from Crystal Dynamics?
The answer, like with most video game film adaptation, is probably going to be no. It’s far too early to tell, because the movie doesn’t launch until March 16, 2018, but there are the telltale signs that have already been telegraphed from the materials we’ve seen thus far.
The latest attempt at bringing Lara Croft to the big screen looks like a far cry from the previous films starring Angelina Jolie, but that’s only a small bit of consolation. As you can see in the clip below that showcases near-exact replications of scenes from the game, it’s pretty clear that while capable Vikander makes a decent Croft, the film itself looks like a less engaging version of the game.
But things are just a little off, as is usually the case with film adaptations of comics, games, and books. Lara’s outfit is just a little different. Vikander doesn’t quite look like Lara. Supporting characters look quite a bit different from their counterparts in the game. It’s as if the game were filtered through a Dollar General machine before being chewed up and spit out again onto celluloid.
One of the strangest parts of the whole thing from what I can ascertain from the movie trailer is that the scope has been widened to be another world-saving affair instead of the far more zoomed-in perspective the game reboots have been given. It lends a sort of ridiculousness that just isn’t necessary. And if the movie is going to follow what seems to be essentially the same path the game did, why change something like that to begin with?
There have been far too many generic action flicks out there to count on one hand. While Tomb Raider doesn’t exactly do anything new with the cards it’s dealt as far as an action series, it does it capably and reliably, with a new vision of Lara that’s resonated with audiences.
While I prefer Lara both new and old, from her signature shades and shorts to the newer, more vulnerable character we’ve gotten to know over the years, I can’t help but wish we didn’t have a watered-down look at the series to look forward to. I’m hoping I’m pleasantly surprised, but I’d honestly rather see a campy classic Lara Croft flick with Jolie back in the saddle over something like this any day. Here’s to hoping this movie doesn’t go the way of Assassin’s Creed. Or Mortal Kombat. Or Silent Hill. Or Street Fighter.