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How 'Tomb Raider' fits in with other Video Game-to-Film Adaptations
Will 'Tomb Raider' suffer the same fate as so many other video game movies?
It has been three days since the newest Tomb Raider film adaptation came out, simply titled Tomb Raider, and critics have been... unkind to the film.
"...Then there are moments that translate video-game mechanics so literally that we see Lara do menial game tasks like use exposed beams as makeshift monkey bars for crossing gaps. This isn't an adaptation of a video game so much as an adaptation of a video game's tutorial level... It takes a lot to waste a gift like Goggins in a villain role, but watching him play second fiddle to a disposable piece of gear is the final indignity of this interminable slog."
For the worst criticism look no further than the Rotten Tomatoes critic review page for the film, where you can see just as many good reviews as bad ones. The difference here being that the good ones give the film just enough credit to make it seem watchable, while the bad ones absolutely eviscerate the film.
It seems that most video game-to-film adaptations are destined for some criticism, if not complete ridicule. Super Mario Bros., one of the most beloved video game franchises of all time, was a victim of this same trend back in 1993. Riding on the coat tails of the early '90s video game craze, the Super Mario Bros. live action film was released.
Facing problems with the script and serious production issues, the film was released and quickly destroyed by critics everywhere. All in all, the film gained back less than half of its budget.
A more recent example is the Assassin's Creed film adaptation, released in 2016. IMDb was, again, gracious with its reviews, giving the film a 5.8/10. Dive in a little further, however, and you'll find reviews from several different critic outlets absolutely destroying the film.
Critic reviews aside, the general audience consensus is that the new Tomb Raider film isn't all that bad. There are several non-critic audience reviews that heap praise upon the film. Perhaps they aren't as jaded as some critics that have sat through hours upon hours of awful video game movies.
It could even be that some reviewers actually enjoyed what an action-centric director like Roar Uthaug can create. Whatever the reasons are, it seems there are just as many movie-goers love this film as there are those who hate it.
We take a look at how critics and audiences have responded to the last 25 years of video game adaptations.