|Posted by Jason on September 22, 2017 at 4:10 PM|
If live action video game movies have taught us anything, it's that they are absolutely horrible. Conceptually speaking, the majority of video games themselves would make excellent movies, but when it comes down to direction, casting, production and scripting, thing's just don't go as planned.
Notably horrible video game movies include Hitman, Assassin's Creed, Doom, Warcraft, Max Payne, and Ratchet and Clank. Who's to say that the upcoming Tomb Raider movie won't fall victim to the video game movie curse?
Tomb Raider Will Probably Be Garbage
First, let's start with two key figures in the production of the new Tomb Raider movie.
Directing the new film will be Roar Uthaug, a Norwegian film graduate. This appears to be his first major film project.
Second is the writer, Geneva Robertson-Dworet, and this appears to be her first project as well.
Way to go, guys. While this is a great project to be working on, Tomb Raider is a major video game franchise. Why not bring some respect to the brand and bring in some well seasoned talent?
Films rely heavily on the director and writer to create a masterpiece of cinematography, and there isn't any evidence that Uthaug or Dworet can deliver on either of those. Although the rumors are circulating that the plot will be similar to the 2013 Tomb Raider video game.
Lara's going to a mystical Japanese island, searching for clues to her father's disappearance. She, of course encounters trouble with the Trinity, a criminal organization. There appears to be a fair amount of action, and allusions to Lara's past as well. From the trailer, there seems to be no shortage of money for special effects, although the acting and plot seem mediocre at best.
Each gamer brings their own experiences with them into the digital world. When you play Tomb Raider, your enjoyment is mostly a subjective experience. Not to say that movies aren't either, but there's less room for personalized shenanigans or serious adventure with movies, and I'm not sure fans are going to enjoy Tomb Raider.
If we take a look at video games that became movies and ultimately flopped, they share a few things in common. Some themes that were noticeable in the Tomb Raider trailer. First, they have over the top special effects. This occurs because the rest of the movie was hastily thrown together, and something is needed to draw the audience's attention away from the mess occurring in terms of plot, dialogue and characters. Tomb Raider has the makings to be another generic Tomb Raider movie.
Second, there's virtually no actual feeling of a connection to the original storyline and franchise. Yes, the character's name is Lara and so forth, but did the trailer feel anything like a Tomb Raider video game? Hollywood has yet to learn that these gimmicks won't ever really work. Tomb Raider has all the inklings to be just another letdown to fans who got pulled in because they saw the Tomb Raider name slapped on some movie poster. I'm not sure if Hollywood takes video game movies seriously.
Although, Tomb Raider might bring some positive empowerment to the world. The game and storyline feature female empowerment, something that is pretty non-existent in the realm of video games. Let's be honest, Lara Croft is one kickass character, and both Hollywood and developers have a huge market for gamers who are drawn towards female protagonists.
Tomb Raider has the makings of just another quickly written, rushed through production movie that might not even make it to theaters. Everything we've seen thus far indicates an extremely generic action movie, with a few scraps of Tomb Raider content to hook us into watching it. What we need, is a highly engaging plotline. Tomb Raider has always struck similar notes as an Indiana Jones movie, so something leaning more towards that would be phenomenal. Hopefully, the production can iron out the mistakes of the past, for example, give the characters with more personalities and overall depth. But this still won't fix the fatal flaw of movies based on video games, the user experience.
A video game movie might have all the right pieces. The plot might be engaging, the characters relatable and interesting, and amazing production value, camera shots, etc. However, at the end of the day, a video game movie still won't leave the audience feeling complete, especially those who played the game. The draw of Tomb Raider and so many other video games is the playability. You won't get that with movies currently, and that's where the majority of the entertainment comes from with Tomb Raider. As a result, the people working on these video game to movie projects have a huge gap to bridge in keeping audiences entertained and having an enjoyable experience. So it's not just Tomb Raider that has to fix this issue, it's any and all video game movies.
For now, all we can do is hope that Tomb Raider isn't just another generic Tomb Raider movie.