Video game movies are generally more miss than hit, but that hasn’t stopped companies from trying to find a way to adapt them to the big screen.
Warner Brothers takes a stab at it this time around using the rebooted game series as its launching point to give us a look at a younger version of the character, Lara Croft, brought to life by Oscar winner Alicia Vikander.
Taking its cue from the games, the young adventurer finds herself caught up in an escapade that reunites her with her long-lost father, Richard Croft (Dominic West) in a journey to keep a dangerous discovery on a remote island out of the hands of a villainous group of people, led by Mathias Vogel (Walton Goggins).
Despite some dizzying set pieces, I think the film confines itself too much to the island location. One expects a little more globe-trotting in these films. Nonetheless, the film makes use of some great locations, and truly impressive sets (the temple sequence is of particular note).
The film has everything you would expect it to, puzzle solving (though it’s bothersome that time isn’t taken here for the viewers to attempt to figure them out from things seen or given throughout the course of the film – we are strictly observers here, not participants), exploration, fight sequences, giant set pieces and a likeable lead. And what it feels like it lacks in story, Vikander makes up for that in the earnestness of her performance.
It should come as no surprise that Warner Brothers’ release of the film to blu-ray brings a gorgeous transfer, the picture and sound is superior. But for me where this edition really shines is the extras.
All of the professionally produced extras are shot on digital and look as fantastic as the film itself as we are given a behind the scenes look at the creation of the film, including the exhausting and comprehensive training Vikander went through for the part.
In fact these types of featurettes make me appreciate the film all the more. We get a look at everything Vikander went through, the concept of the reboot, the shooting of specific set pieces, and a brief (in fact, way too short) look at the history of the character, and the game that created her.
The film is a fairly standard entry into the action genre, but I would be very interested in seeing Vikander take on the role again. The film hints at further stories to tell as it world-builds, and I think she brings Croft to life in a solid and enjoyable way, bringing the brains, skills, and physicality the role needs to the screen.
But don’t take my word for it, check it out, as Tomb Raider comes home on blu-ray and DVD today from Warner Brothers.