I told myself this prompt would be a piece of cake. Watch a movie, write a blog, easy peasy, right? Hell, it’s so easy there’s no rush. I can watch Tomb Raider any time, right? Could maybe even knock out all three in one month. Wouldn’t that be neat. Haha.
And then the entire month basically went by and I hadn’t done a damn thing.
Well, I finally did the thing. At least partly. I really did intend to do all three Tomb Raider films, but I’m only doing the first because I procrastinated too much. I’ve finally, after all this time watched Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and…
My goodness this is a boring movie.
A shame too, as there is clearly \effort put into it. The set design is really good, the acting is good (for the most part), and the plot is actually kind of cool. It’s got pretty good cinematography. At least until it gets to the fight scenes, then it gets a bit messy. But most of it is quite neat. On the surface level, it should be a decent movie. Not a game changing piece of art, but a decent popcorn flick.
So why is it so dull?
Well for starters it’s slow. It takes forever for anything to get going. It does start with an action sequence that involves a bad CGI robot, sure. But after that it just goes on and on without much interesting happening. And when it does happen most of it is kind of poorly executed. Several action scenes are mostly dudes standing in place, firing off rounds that never come close to hitting Lara. I’m not sure why highly trained assassins/mercenaries are always such poor shots in movies, but they are.
The film’s humor also contributes to its dullness. It’s dry humor. Like, really dry. Like a desert. None of the jokes landed for me. They’re barely jokes and delivered with so little in terms of delivery that they just don’t matter.
This movie's humor in photo form.
There’s not much else to say in that regard. The movie is kind of dull. Let’s move on.
The CGI in the movie is mostly shit. The actual CGI models are pretty good. Nicely detailed and surprisingly realistic. And then they move and their movements are very unrealistic and its pretty sad. I know its unfair to judge such old special effects so harshly. But I can’t look past it either. Especially when in one case, when Lara fights a giant statue, the animation gets super janky and looks almost stop motion. Also there is at least one example of really, really bad CGI with this weird oozy liquid. It’s really bad.
I mentioned the acting being pretty good, and for the most part it is. Jolie does a decent enough job playing Lara. Even though the script portrays Lara as a little on the crazy side. The main villain, who I choose to call knock off David Bowie is okay, if a bit cheesy. Daniel Craig is okay, although his American accent is laughably bad. Everyone else is either passable or they are so inconsequential it really doesn’t matter.
I will give the writers some credit for portraying Lara as actually smart. After the reboot games it was a welcome thing. Lara actually being able to put two and two together is just so nice.
I kind of hate that the film is bookended by dumb action sequences. The majority of the film sis dull, but both the intro and ending would have you think it was a quirky action movie. The film doesn’t actually seem to know what tone it’s going for. It’s just kind of all over the place. Especially soundtrack-wise. Nothing really gels together, it’s all just such a mixed bag.
I would highly suspect this is what I would call a “checklist movie.” In other words, I suspect the director/screenwriter had a bunch of ideas they wanted to do in a film someday but didn’t know how to use them so they just dumped them in a licensed movie that they felt they could get away with doing so. Several scenes like Lara bungie bouncing in her house or Lara using a dog sled team to ice skate out of a collapsing cave just feel like a “Man wouldn’t that be cool, but when am I ever going to be able to use this idea?” kind of feel to them. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it is noticeable in my opinion.
Over all, I’d say that Lara Croft: Tomb Raider is an okay movie. It’s kind of dull, and I can’t recommend it, but I don’t think it’s bad either. As far as being an adaptation of the games, I honestly wouldn’t know. I’ve only played the reboot games and I obviously can’t compare the movie to those. I will say that the movie wouldn’t convince me to check out the games at all, so we can deduce that it probably isn’t a good advertisement for the game. But it’s okay as far as being a film goes.
But yeah, nobody needs to watch this.