Now, before I go too far into this review, I want to clarify what I mean by “Spoiler-Free.” I will be going over the plot (just the basics – nothing too heavy) and what I did or didn’t like about the film, and how it compares to the games in which it’s based. Be warned, I have some critiques for the movie, and I tried to remain objective despite my obsession with the games and obvious love for Alicia Vikander.
So without further adieu, let’s go right into the plot! The story follows a 20-something Lara Croft who, since her father’s disappearance nearly 7 years ago, has been living a little haphazardly. Unable to pay her own bills, she does reckless things that get her into trouble with the law, and she refuses to sign the papers that would declare her father deceased, which means she has no access to the riches – or the manor – he left behind. When she finally does decide to sign those papers, she’s given a Chinese puzzle per her father’s instructions, and in it is a key to his secrets. The key drives her to trace her father’s footsteps in the hopes of finding answers, but it leads to so much more than that.
The story has a lot of similarities to the 2013 Tomb Raider game, which you can read about right here. Be warned, this is where spoilers might come into play. The film itself…if you haven’t played the games, is good, but if you go into it with expectations and comparisons, then you’re going to be sorely disappointed. One of the main issues I took with the film rendition is that it didn’t really SHOW Lara’s evolution. In the video game, we get to see, in depth, the horrors she endures that causes her to transition from fresh-faced-20-something to the Battle-hardened-gun-toting-badass that we all know and love, but it’s something they deeply overlook in the film. Call me what you will, but I also disliked how much she had to rely on other people – and how they replaced the plethora of amazing characters she could’ve been working with from the game. I do think, however, that they found the absolute perfect person to play Lara Croft. Anyone who says otherwise can catch these hands.
Regardless, objectively it’s a great film…but as someone who is a die-hard fan of the games and absolutely loved the origin story installments, I believe they could’ve done better.