I enjoyed that new Tomb Raider for about the first forty minutes. They went with this interesting story where Lara is living by the skin of her teeth as a bike courier in London, with a team of spunky young friends with interesting haircuts. Alicia Vikander's accent is shaky, but she still does posh better than Camilla Luddington from the new games, and she's immediately a lot more lively and likable. She's showing off her sweaty sixpack at an MMA gym, she's showing off her smarts in a bike race through the city streets (that's actually surprisingly well-shot and exciting), and you're immediately drawn in to the mystery of why our favourite rich girl is out there scrambling around for money.
Unfortunately, it becomes a completely different movie once Lara gets to the spooky island. Those spunky friends from the beginning? We never see them again. Instead, we just sit through a checklist of every major action setpiece from the 2013 game, in what is basically an hour of Lara vs. the CGI Animators. The rusty old WW2 bomber, parachuting through the forest, getting impaled on a tree branch, finding a bow, etc etc. They even copy Game Lara's laughably quick transition from reluctant, "What have I done?" self-defence killer to unflappable murder machine, but somehow they do it even worse in the movie! Nothing is given any time to breath, nothing is given any special care, and I'm pretty sure they only had a couple of shooting locations to work with because the big jungle island looks suspiciously like the same two or three places over and over again.
The final act turns into Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade remade by amateurs, with a short reprise of Lara vs. the CGI Animators for good measure. They try to do all the fun riddle-solving and ancient-mechanism-activating scenes, but they forget to establish where Lara gets all the information she needs to solve the puzzles, so she just suddenly starts chanting these "The penitent man will pass"-style cryptic hints that we've never heard before, and rotating these big gear wheels without telling us why she's doing it. They talk a big game about this ancient cursed Japanese Queen who was exiled to this island, and how her thousand servants all killed themselves to protect her in the afterlife, and then they do the least-interesting thing they could do with that setup.
It's just a big load of rubbish, you guys. It has all the hallmarks of a movie that's been rewritten ten times, with bits and pieces from earlier drafts still left over in the finished product but without all the connective tissue they need to make sense, chopped to pieces in the editing room and then sent out to hopefully make some money off the brand name. I wouldn't recommend it.
- Florent likes this