A peruse of the ‘List of films based on video games’ Wikipedia page sums up what we all know—that the majority of films based on video games are terrible.
The major exception to this is Mortal Kombat, with it’s pumping soundtrack, skilled cast, and general awesomeness uppercutting any negativity onto the spikes below.
Tomb Raider doesn’t hit those heady heights, but with a strong central performance and a steady story I can safely say it’s the second best video game film there is.
Her determination and bravery feel real as she’s constantly tested by a male-dominated cast
The newer, rebooted series of games has given the film a good set of ideas to pull from whilst drastically changing the tone from the previous Jolie films. Alicia Vikander is pitch perfect as the newer style Lara. No longer the overly endowed pinup of the past, she’s a much more grounded character who can take a beating and keep going. Her determination and bravery feel real as she’s constantly tested by a male-dominated cast that fortunately doesn’t treat her as anything less than a threat.
For a film that is all about adventure, it’s actually very safe. There aren’t any big surprises in store, and it ticks along at a decent pace, successfully clearing the jumps needed to set everything up for a franchise. A sequel is deserved on this basis; hopefully one that challenge Lara more and showcase more of her intellect and strength.