Thursday, March 15, 2018

Tomb Raider - Movie Review (4/5 Stars)

By Hamza Shafique (Instagram / Facebook)

Roar Uthaug’s directed and Alicia Vikander starrer Tomb Raider is a perfect reboot that a movie of this genre can ask for. Tomb Raider is based on a video game and many video game adaptations usually don’t work, Assassin's Creed being the latest in such failures and Jake Gyllenhaal starrer Prince of Persia is an older such example. Action adventure video games have audience engagement through interactive elements and to provide same experience on silver screen without any audience interaction creates all the problem. Luckily there is no such issue here.

We all know how in a typical video game, story line unravels throughout the game along with player challenges getting harder gradually as well, with biggest twist and hardest challenge at the very end of the game. Evan Daugherty and Geneva Robertson-Dworet ‘s story follows the similar format in the most effective manner possible. Screenplay is crisp, to the point and covers all the elements of original franchise in a perfect blend. There is nothing extra, in fact there was potential for writers to explore few characters and their chemistry with Lara Croft. But from my perspective, it has worked for the film that writers have left those points out, otherwise narrative could have dragged.
It’s also an origin story and writers have covered all the elements of an origin story perfectly as well. In this film we don’t see The Invincible Ancient History Expert Lara Croft instead we get to experience a character who is very human and this is another reason why this film works beautifully.
Roar Uthaug’s direction is complete and puts this well written adventure perfectly on screen. Action sequences are engaging and thrilling especially the plane sequence in the jungle. Action Adventure sequences are so well choreographed/directed that you can actually see Lara's characters personal evolution through them. 

From trailers I was also a bit concerned about Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft, because she has a very different screen presence compared to iconic Angelina Jolie’s portrayal from earlier films. But Alicia Vikander made this character her own. Her portrayal is so convincing that it will erase all other versions of this character from your mind. As an audience I connected to her instantly and could feel her struggle, her strength, her bravery, which enhanced the experience tremendously. Tomb Raider is only her show and all other characters have limited scope including the villain and they have done exactly what their limited scope required.
Overall a nicely composed summer entertainer with substance. A perfect reboot of this franchise with all elements of a great origin story intact. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and will definitely watch it again once its released in cinemas, I go with 4 stars.

I would like to thank Warner Bros ME and Shooting Stars for inviting me to their media screening event at Vox Theater by Rhodes and making this review possible

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