Remake Rumble: Tomb Raider Edition

THE DIRECTORS: Simon West vs Roar Uthaug

Simon West showed a very steady hand when it came to the almost non-stop action set pieces in LARA CROFT: TOMB RAIDER which I guess was something he learned from directing the bonkers Nicolas Cage actioner CON AIR. West went big in all of the major moments in the movie and never shied away from any of the over-the-top scenarios in the script whether it was giant killer statues or a gigantic model of the solar system that triggered a doohicky that allowed people to travel through time. I’d say West ended up being the perfect fit for this movie.
I am a fan a couple of Roar Uthaug’s prior movies (the slasher movie COLD PREY and the “more than just a disaster movie” disaster movie THE WAVE) so I was intrigued to see what he would bring to a movie like TOMB RAIDER and to Uthaug’s credit he did a very efficient job in directing TOMB RAIDER. But his efficiency in the big action heavy scenes are all commendable if a little bit too sterile for this type of movie.
Advantage: LARA CROFT: TOMB RAIDER (2001)

THE MOVIES: 2001 Movie vs 2018 Movie

LARA CROFT: TOMB RAIDER synopsis: Video game adventurer Lara Croft comes to life in a movie where she races against time and villains to recover powerful ancient artifacts.

The 2001 film was just a goofily fun adventure tale that realized it was an adaptation of a video game and as such was focused on being as loud and action filled as possible. This is a movie that has Lara Croft fighting killer robots before the credits have even been shown. This is a movie where Lara does high-wire ballet as a form of relaxation and in the middle of her high wire ballet time she gets attacked by a squadron of heavily armed mercenaries. This is a movie where a hidden tomb has animated statues as a defense system. LARA CROFT: TOMB RAIDER also leans into the idea that this world is full of ancient mystical artifacts that, if in the wrong hands, could result in the end of all civilization. This is a movie where the lead character travels through time. This is a movie where the main villainous organization is the freaking Illuminati! Fantastical nonsense is the primary objective here and because of that a lot of the bad stuff in this movie can be easily overlooked.

TOMB RAIDER synopsis: Lara Croft, the fiercely independent daughter of a missing adventurer, must push herself beyond her limits when she finds herself on the island where her father disappeared.

TOMB RAIDER is a bit too serious for it’s own good and instead of realizing that high adventure with as much goofiness and camp tossed in as possible is the way to go, this movie instead tries to ground things into a more gritty action movie and that eschewing of the more fantastical is a major mistake. If your characters are all trying to find and then bust into the hidden crypt of a cursed ancient Japanese witch then there better damn well be a cursed ancient Japanese witch running around doing witchy things of I am going to be really disappointed. And not to give anything away but I was really disappointed by the time this film was over.
Advantage: LARA CROFT: TOMB RAIDER (2001)

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