Published: Thu, March 15, 2018
Culture&Arts | By Darrell Mcdonald

Shadow of the Tomb Raider Will Be Revealed Tomorrow, Releases September 14

Shadow of the Tomb Raider Will Be Revealed Tomorrow, Releases September 14

Alicia Vikander in the film Tomb Raider. Crystal Dynamics usually heads up the Tomb Raider games but they are now tied up with the untitled game based off of Marvel's Avengers property.

Directed by Norwegian filmmaker Roar Uthaug ("The Wave"), Lara is introduced getting her butt kicked in a boxing ring. But she does an terrible lot of very pathetic and borderline creepy daddy-daughter pining for that all-important man in her life. Everything changes, however, when Lara learns the truth about her father and what he was up to, right before he vanished. After stumbling onto a few clues as to his whereabouts, she heads to Hong Kong, where she meets the son of the last person likely to have seen her dad alive (Daniel Wu) and persuades him to captain his ship into unsafe waters, toward the uninhabited island that was Lord Richard's last known destination. Now in danger, Lara must survive Trinity, uncover the mysterious tomb on the island, and figure out what happened to her father. It's also that she's so prone to make bad decisions or throw out any semblance of common sense. Those movies knew who Lara Croft was and what they wanted her to be. These scenes are usually created to tease a future movie, wrap up a plot hole, or just put in a scene that didn't fit with the main story.

As it stands, though, "Tomb Raider" is an often fun and visually compelling action pic, that is also sometimes unintentionally silly, with a great actress leading the whole thing. That film's $131 million domestic box-office haul is still the most any movie based on a video game has made domestically, even after 17 years of ticket-price increases. "It was a bit like showing up at a vehicle manufacturer wondering what you're going to work on, and them being like, 'Oh, you're going to work on hovercars.'" Tomb Raider's unique gameplay elements (it was one of the first 3-D actioners of its size and scope), unconventional lead character, and cinematic aesthetic made it one of the best-selling games of all time.

"Do I have to be the a-hole who says her tits are too small for me to see her as Lara Croft?" he tweeted. Instead, it's a mostly convoluted ride of CGI chase scenes and chasm jumps mixed with interchangeable action scenes and clunky dialogue, much like the 2001 version. As is the case with Lara, the film's main players are cardboard personalities that would be otherwise forgettable were it not for the performances behind them. In particular, there's Lara's boat captain friend Lu Ren, played by Daniel Wu.

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In terms of craftsmanship, Tomb Raider mostly succeeds in giving the franchise a grittier makeover. The film boasts awesome fighting techniques and stunts. This isn't an adaptation of a video game so much as an adaptation of a video game's tutorial level, and one that's capped by a climax that's as much about Lara discovering the climbing axe she uses throughout the game as it is dealing with the Japanese island's deepest secret.

If Tomb Raider hasn't aged particularly well, it still holds a special place in the pantheon of video game movies-which is a little like being the most distinguished pile of garbage, but still. "Uthaug ... shoots a lot of the action in settings so dim we can't actually see anything".

Tomb Raider premieres this Friday at Century Cinemax, Acacia mall, and Cinema Magic, Metroplex mall. It is 118 minutes long and is rated PG-13 for sequences of violence and action, and for some language.

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