16 years ago, Angelina Jolie took on the role of Lara Croft in the very first big screen adaptation of the blockbuster game, Tomb Raider. The film catapulted Jolie into a household name and forever associated the actress with gaming’s favourite female heroine. Now the mantle has been passed on to Alicia Vikander, and judging by the very first Tomb Raider trailer, it appears as if she has expertly embraced the role for the rebooted film franchise.
At first glance, it is easy to discern that this new Tomb Raider film is nothing like the originals that came before it. Where the original movies with Angelina Jolie drew inspiration from the era of Core Dynamics’ Tomb Raider games, it is abundantly clear that Warner Brothers’ rebooted film borrows heavily from the games created by Square-Enix.
In fact, the first Tomb Raider trailer makes it unashamedly obvious that Vikander’s Lara is almost a carbon copy of the heroine that features in Square-Enix’s excellent Tomb Raider (2013) and Rise of the Tomb Raider (2015). From Lara’s physical appearance, through to the locale, and even the secret organisation that she must face, these aspects have all been lifted directly from the latest video games.
Since the new film is “loosely” based on the most recent games, the first Tomb Raider trailer showcases an untested Lara, who inevitably heads out on a quest to find out what happened to her father. Naturally, things do not go as planned, and she is marooned on an island. The experience then forces the young woman to adapt and survive, or die. Sound familiar?
As a gamer, moviegoer and fan of Lara Croft, I am excited for this movie. However, I am also a little bit disappointed with what I have seen from this first Tomb Raider trailer. Although I definitely like the idea of exploring the new era of the Square-Enix Lara, I feel somewhat cheated that the studio has made a movie that resembles the story of the new games so closely.
Tomb Raider (2013) and Rise of the Tomb Raider (2015) are incredibly cinematic games with rich and engrossing stories. I have often remarked on how they sometimes feel like playing an interactive movie. Hence my surprise at how similar the rebooted film appears to be to the video games. As a gamer, I feel a little cheated. As a movie goer, it looks like it will be a decent action film. I guess the translation of the story in the games to that of the film was easier than simply starting from scratch. I suppose only time will tell if the similarities will hurt or bolster the film at the box office.
Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl) stars alongside Daniel Wu (Geostorm), Dominic West (The Wire), Walton Goggins (The Hateful Eight) and Kristin Scott Thomas (The English Patient) in Warner Brothers’ Tomb Raider; to be released on 16 March, 2018.
Lara Croft is the fiercely independent daughter of an eccentric adventurer who vanished when she was scarcely a teen. Now a young woman of 21 without any real focus or purpose, Lara navigates the chaotic streets of trendy East London as a bike courier, barely making the rent, and takes college courses, rarely making it to class. Determined to forge her own path, she refuses to take the reins of her father’s global empire just as staunchly as she rejects the idea that he’s truly gone. Advised to face the facts and move forward after seven years without him, even Lara can’t understand what drives her to finally solve the puzzle of his mysterious death.
Going explicitly against his final wishes, she leaves everything she knows behind in search of her dad’s last-known destination: a fabled tomb on a mythical island that might be somewhere off the coast of Japan. But her mission will not be an easy one; just reaching the island will be extremely treacherous. Suddenly, the stakes couldn’t be higher for Lara, who—against the odds and armed with only her sharp mind, blind faith and inherently stubborn spirit—must learn to push herself beyond her limits as she journeys into the unknown. If she survives this perilous adventure, it could be the making of her, earning her the name tomb raider.