Tomb Raider (2018) is an adaptation of the best-selling video game series, and it reboots the film franchise that began in 2001 and starred Angelina Jolie. The film follows a young woman named Lara Croft (Alicia Vikander), a well-off woman who seeks answers concerning her father’s disappearance.
How to Stream or Download Tomb Raider
The movie can be obtained from iTunes. It is available in several language versions with subtitles. To start streaming or downloading, hit the Download button at the end of the review. And if you like movies based on games you should also check out Assassin’s Creed (2016) and perhaps Max Payne (2018) as well.
The Film Review
This new take on the Tomb Raider franchise is more gritty and violent than the two first films with Angelina Jolie (which were Lara Croft: Tomb Raider released in 2001 and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider – The Cradle of Life from 2003), and it pays homage to the recent Tomb Raider video games in some meaningful ways.
While not wholly original or entirely unique, Tomb Raider turns out to be an entertaining ride and a fresh take on a storied character.
Tomb Raider centers around Lara Croft, a young woman living a fiercely independent lifestyle despite coming from riches. Coming from the wealthy Croft family, Lara spent her early life in the lavish Croft manor, learning about various cultures via her studied father.
One day in her childhood, her father leaves for a business trip and never returns, forever leaving Lara with a lack of closure. This haunts her, and as she digs around her old family home for clues seven years later, she stumbles upon some information that may lead her towards her father’s last known location.
The story of Lara’s journey to find her missing father takes her to a beautiful but dangerous island, where she encounters resistance from a team of mercenaries. The adventure is predictable but enjoyable and falls in line with the story told in more recent Tomb Raider video games.
Like in the video games, Lara must battle against the shady organization known as Trinity, navigate through dangerous areas and dank tombs, and generally act like an amped-up action hero. The story hits the expected notes of an action/adventure film, ripe with adversity, action set pieces and likable characters.
There’s a surprising amount of heart on the emotional side of things, mostly due to an excellent performance from Alicia Vikander in the starring role. Unlike Angelina Jolie in the original Tomb Raider films, Vikander presents Lara Croft as an independent and powerful woman. Far too often, the original Tomb Raider movies would focus on Lara’s good looks and sex appeal over her skills and strength.
Tomb Raider gives us a determined, toned, and hardened Lara, who is just as able of a killing machine as anyone else. Vikander brings a noticeable grit to her performance, and it makes the character shine like never before.
As an adaptation of the video game series, Tomb Raider doesn’t directly follow the games in terms of story or plot points, but it manages to evoke the imagery very well. There are a handful of scenes that are pulled directly from the video game series, including a hazardous trip to a downed helicopter above a waterfall.
This scene, combined with numerous action sequences, create a hefty amount of excitement throughout the runtime. Where the story tends to stagnate, exciting action and inventive set pieces keep things fresh.
Ultimately, Tomb Raider is a fun and engaging action film, but it doesn’t break new ground. Fans of the video game franchise will undoubtedly appreciate it more, but even a casual movie-goer with no previous knowledge of the franchise will manage to have some fun.
- Alicia Vikander delivers a stunning and strong performance as Lara Croft
- Numerous action scenes are pulled directly from the video game and look awesome
- The character of Lara Croft is explored deeper than ever before, and given more weight beyond a sex symbol
- The storytelling is predictable in nature and not entirely unique
- Besides Lara and a few other key players, most characters are forgettable
- The movie takes a while to get going, and doesn't reach its full stride until over the halfway mark