‘Tomb Raider’ Movie Hits the Mark

Video game movie boasts stunning visuals, poor logic

A section from MGM’s official movie poster.

Photo by MGM

A section from MGM’s official movie poster.

Nathan Fletcher, Staff Reporter

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When it comes to most movies based on video games, a lot is lost in translation. I am not familiar with the source material for Tomb Raider, but if that fact holds true for this series, then the games must be absolutely perfect. (Spoilers below!)

The film opens on Lara Croft kickboxing at the local gym. We quickly learn that she is having money problems but refuses her father’s inheritance, because she cannot accept that he is dead. When she finally accepts the inheritance, she is given a puzzle box in which a key has been placed. This key opens a secret room in the family crypt where Lara’s father has been researching the supernatural in an attempt to bring back Lara’s mother from the dead.

Up until this point, the exposition was fairly elegant. There were a few points where I questioned a character’s moves (a phenomena which occurs much more frequently near the end of the film), but the whole thing had a natural feel to it. Its when Lara finds a box labeled ‘Himiko’ about 20 minutes in and watches a video explaining what her father did that the scene starts to become an exposition dump. The movie never really recovers from this moment, and all explanatory scenes from that point onward seem ever-so-slightly off.

As I mentioned, characters don’t always make the most logical decisions in this movie. There is, of course, the moment when Lara finds a key in a box and runs out of the room without signing the papers she needs to to accept her inheritance (an inheritance she desperately needs). There’s the part where a boat captain agrees to sail into a stretch of sea that he knows is deadly for a few hundred dollars in a foreign currency.

The most insane decision of all, however, is when Lara faces off with the antagonist of the movie- a man who wants to take what Lara’s father has found for his own. All she has to do is walk about ten feet in one direction and she’ll be completely safe, but she does not. She instead chooses to sabotage herself while at the same time not actually stopping her enemy.

Regardless of a so-so plot, the cinematography of the piece is spectacular. Even within a color pallet limited by the jungle island setting, every shot is so vivid it feels like you’re actually there. The fight scenes aren’t the usual mashup of camera tricks used to distract from the fact that it’s all choreographed, but a beautiful sequence of angles that achieves the same goal in a new way. The cinematography is so captivating that you could watch the movie with all the scenes out of order and still enjoy it just for how it looks.

Overall, this movie is worth your while whether you’ve played the games or not. If you want to watch people make poor decisions and look really cool doing it, this is the movie for you.

Nathan Fletcher

Nathan became a member of The Flightline in August of 2017. He is a senior this year, involved in cross country, track, and drama, and can be found watching movies outside of school. You can email him at [email protected]