It’s been said that there’s a curse around films that are based on video games. No matter how much money or star power you pump into them, they seem to always suck. There was some hope that the new reboot of Tomb Raider, starring Alicia Vikander would break us free from the memory of recent failures like Warcraft and Assassins Creed. Now that the review embargo has lifted, we are starting to get our first big round of critiques, leading to a critic score on Rotten Tomatoes of 50%.
The good news is that 50% is probably the best score that a video game film has achieved in quite some time. The bad news is that it’s still not really great. As to whether the score is deserved, we won’t know until we see it for ourselves, but we have to wonder if the entire genre is a victim of its own success. The games that are getting adapted usually beloved and best-selling titles. The expectation of the movie is that it should match exceed the game play experience. Unfortunately, that is pretty much impossible. Does that mean that these movies are actually good? No, but they might not be as bad as we feel they are. Here are some of the top notes from critics:
Without the interactive component, we’re just watching moldy movie tropes retranslated back into movie form. And by the end, the craven franchise aspirations have obliterated even the very modest retro appeal.
By the time it lurches into its final third, Tomb Raider feels more like a video game than a movie.
Lara’s appealing enough in humor and drive but Vikander brings deeper notes than the script and green screens require, from sorrow and fear to first-kill horror. Tomb Raider isn’t a place to expect good acting, but Vikander persists.
Tampa Bay Times
After years of attempts, no one expects a video game movie to be high cinema. But if Tomb Raider wasn’t going to be great, I had at least held out hope that it would be entertaining.
Next up on the quest to beat the curse is Dwayne Johnson’s ‘Rampage.’ Given that the man seems to have the Midas Touch, let’s see if he’s got what it takes to save us all from more bad video game movies.