What people who don't play Tomb Raider don't understand about the movie

The new Tomb Raider movie was just released in Cinemas today. Those who only know the franchise by the Angelina movies and not by the games have mismatched expectations. Here is what they might be surprised by when they go and see it.

This is an origin story not a remake

The movie out today is not a remake of the previous Tomb Raider movies. Set before the events of Angelina Jolie’s character, this is an origin story. Before Lara becomes the ‘bad ass’ Tomb Raider many know her as, she was just a girl who had lost her dad. We were first introduced to Lara Croft as a movie character in 2001 who was already a fearless heroine. Based off the original games from 1996, the blocky polygon shaped Lara was already a veteran Tomb Raider. But of course now we will be seeing how she got to that point, hopefully with some sequels to continue the story.

The latest two installments of the video game series, follow the beginnings of Lara Croft’s adventures. Tomb Raider and Rise of the Tomb Raider, released in 2013 and 2015 respectively are the inspiration behind this movie. The movie’s story line follows that of the first of the rebooted games. Seven years after Lara’s archeologist father goes missing, she follows his clues to his last known destination. A mysterious lost island off the coast of Japan in the heart of the Dragons Triangle. Yamatai is the final resting place of the ‘Sun Queen’ Himiko, a sorceress with the power to control the weather.

Movies made from games can be hard to recreate

Unfortunately the movie has received a lot of negative reviews from critics that I doubt would have ever touched a Tomb Raider game. From a player of the Tomb Raiders games, the movie looks spot on. There are too many comparisons to other action movies like Raiders of the Lost Ark from critics. Let the movie be what it was intended to be and don’t judge a fish by it’s ability to climb a tree.

It appears that in trying to be a blockbuster movie, Director Roar Uthaug wanted to ‘show Lara kicking ass’. However, stealth and puzzle solving were the main aspects of the rebooted game and when action came in, it was more complex. Jumping across ledges, scaling falling structures and dodging traps required perfectly timed maneuvers. Trying to appease the critics that called the movie boring it seems has put the movie in the middle of two opposing ideals. To be accurate to the game or to be an action movie in every scene from start to finish.

Another factor is that those who played the games may enjoy the games more than watching the movie. Because games with an in depth story like this and cut scenes are in their own way an interactive movie. Paying for a game you can get endless hours out of compared to paying for a 2 hour movie, it is obvious which would come out on top. The rest of the viewers who can’t relate the movie to any game play miss out on that experience. I hope the movie itself is not poor for other reasons that may discourage people from picking up the games.

Lara is pretty much spot on

She may be no Angelina Jolie but Alicia Vikander is almost spot on for this role. Lara in the original games is Angelina and no one is trying to take away from that. But for the new movie, the adaptation and portrayal is from the newer games and it does that well. In her origin story, depicted in the recent games, Lara’s whole world is turned upside down and she is thrown in the deep end. She is not a seasoned fighter, she doesn’t always have the answer and she is still very young. The young Lara Croft is a lot more relateable character which is what was indented. In my opinion, it is hard to picture Jolie playing this version of Lara Croft. For a look at, at least the appearance of Lara and Alicia Vikander as well as the costumes, here are some comparisons.

Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft
Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft
Alicia Vikander in Tomb Raider
Alicia Vikander in Tomb Raider

With the trailer for Shadow of the Tomb Raider leaked recently for release later this year, here’s hoping some corresponding movie sequels will redeem the film side of the franchise.