Tomb Raider – a review

I’d watched Angelina Jolie’s Lara Croft movies and they were quite action-packed and had some elements of magic. It was a movie that practically catapulted her to stardom so to see a newer take on the series is really exciting! Interestingly, in this reboot of the popular game-turned-movie franchise, they decided to go with the realistic route.

This reboot shows more of a prequel to Lara’s tomb raiding adventures and you get to see a very realistic and human side to her. Her adventures in the movie is mainly driven by her love for her father. Solving the mystery of her father’s disappearance was her main goal and the tomb raiding occurred by happenstance. The movie was more focused on the familial relationship between her and her father. This may sound disappointing to those who expected an action-filled movie but Alicia Vikander did not disappoint. Plus, she performed all the stunts herself! This movie is one of the most inspiring (especially since it was recently International Women’s Day) because it features an independent and brave female as the action hero.

The reality of the movie was really apparent as there seemed to be a vulnerable side to her yet her strength was showcased as well. As you see her struggle through one obstacle after another in search of her father, Lara breaks the tension by exclaiming,  “Really?” in one of the scenes where she manages to survive only to face yet another threat to her life as the rusty aeroplane that she ends up in breaks apart and drops off a waterfall.

Alicia manages to portray a very determined yet emotional side to Lara. As Lara struggles for her life as one of men from Trinity tries to kill her, she cries as she ends up killing the man by drowning him with her bare hands. As a girl that has never been exposed to violence, it was an emotionally genuine scene.

What really peeved me was the legend of the Queen of Yamatai, Himiko. The movie really built the story up by describing the myths of Himiko being a witch and spreading death to whomever she touches. It was said that they buried her alive in one of the uninhabited islands of Japan. So eventually, they reach the tomb and they open the coffin. The camera pans in to the face of Himiko. After they open it, you can see that the pristine face of Himiko disintegrates and the audience awaits for Himiko’s eyes to open or something evil to happen. Nothing happens. So that was a bummer. So the cronies start to prepare her corpse for transport and that’s when shit happens. Lara observes that in the drawings of Himiko in the tomb, the queen was never portrayed as a witch or was even evil. She believed that Himiko chose to die because she was a carrier for a deadly disease and was the only one who was immune to it.

So, okay. They decided to forgo the magical realism and instead opted for something real. That’s great and all but maybe it was just out of my expectations. It doesn’t help matters that my friends and I who were watching the movie were all studying Biomedical Science. The two cronies who touched the corpse were seen to immediately be infected by the pathogen that turns their veins black and they are seen to lose control of their bodies. Which kinda equals zombies. Because hey, they’re dead but they kinda attack you like a rabid corpse and you can only kill them by shooting their brains out. So, it was an interesting concept but I started to have all these questions about the disease. Was it a virus or bacteria? How did it spread so quickly? How did they turn rabid (read: into zombies)? Perhaps the story worked with everyone else but it’s just that as someone who has studied diseases, it just wasn’t convincing enough for me.

There were too many scenes underwater in the beginning and at the river though. The flickering lights and turbulence of the scene which I’m sure was made to let the audience experience the waves and rough current of the river, kind of gave me a migraine. The flickering was hurting my eyes. Ouch. Warning for those that are epileptic. A bit not good.

The supporting actor, Daniel Wu portrayed Lu Ren. He is the owner of the boat, Endurance which takes Lara to an island believed to be Yamatai. The funny thing is, Lu Ren in chinese literally means pedestrian. Plus, I’m glad they didn’t kill off the Asian ❤

The movie was action-packed and the rush keeps you on your toes. This reboot’s Lara isn’t the perfect fighting machine as she’s at first an ordinary girl who then turned into a  superhero by force. You will see her stumble and fall but she won’t ever give up. Alicia Vikander did an amazing job!

Final verdict:
Plot: 7/10
Acting: 9/10
Action: 8/10
Climax: 5/10 (sorry, Himiko)
Suspense: 7/10

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