It’s A Good Thing The New Tomb Raider Movie Is On Ice
Alicia Vikander recently confirmed that the Tomb Raider movie’s sequel was on ice and “in someone else’s hands,” and I think that's probably for the best. I'm a major Tomb Raider fan, but still, let’s leave it. I've been at TheGamer for around a year and a half, during which time Tomb Raider has not only had zero games, it has had almost zero news on any new games, and it's still one of my most covered games. I've held a Tomb Raider Week with exclusive interviews and written about the likes of pretty much every game in the Tomb Raider stable. I've even got the Tomb Raider board game. This isn't just complaining about it for the sake of it, or punching down on a series that's in a bit of a rough patch. I love Tomb Raider. I don't think it needs another movie.
I'm laying my Tomb Raider credentials out because I know, for better and for worse, that Tomb Raider fans are extremely passionate. I am one of you. I still don't want another movie. While I thought Vikander embodied the character well, the rest of the movie wasn't there. Jolie was more the Lara the general public knew from Lucozade adverts and magazine covers, while Vikander was the Lara we knew from the games. But I'm not sure what the point of any of the rest of it was.
It took too long for her adventure to begin, giving us instead a misguided slice of life look at Lara Croft back home. Then it followed the 2013 Survivor Trilogy's opening entry to an extent, took some key set pieces (the famous plane from the trailer), but also completely changed major parts of it, such as the story and the characters. So you know, basically everything. No Sam, no monks, but here's Lara's dad! Again!
Where on earth do they go from here? The next natural point after Tomb Raider (2013) would be Rise of the Tomb Raider, which would be excellent in theory. Rise is my third favourite game in the canon (after Legend and TR2), and the best suited for the big screen. But I don't trust the team from Vikander's Tomb Raider. It wasn't a particularly good movie, and it wasn't really Tomb Raider at all. It had Lara Croft, sure, but I'm not sure it had anything else.
The wait between Shadow of the Tomb Raider and the next game will be the longest in the series history, and Shadow was one of the weaker games to begin with. I am starving for more Tomb Raider. Hopefully Hayley Atwell's animated series can help patch things over, but in the meantime, a new Vikander movie would only make things worse.
Vikander is a great actor, hell, she's a great Lara. She is literally the only good thing in The Danish Girl and is superb in Ex Machina. She deserves a better Tomb Raider movie, but I'm not sure she'll get one. The first was moderately successful at the box office and the sequel would therefore likely be made in the same vein instead of daring to try anything new. I'd love another Tomb Raider movie. I would not love another Tomb Raider movie like that one.
Tomb Raider is in a very dry spell right now. Removing a movie from the equation only makes things worse, but it also softens the blow. After waiting five years for a new game, seeing Tomb Raider be sold off by Square Enix, and generally seeing Lara's pop culture cache shrink, I'm not sure I can take another bad movie that only wants the name Tomb Raider to sell tickets.
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