Lainey emailed me about the new Tomb Raider trailer and my response was: “I am so unmoved by these trailers.” The first trailer at least had Walton Goggins with his hair halfway standing up, but this trailer shows us even more Goggins, and I am sad to report, his hair never achieves the full porcupine. It gains an admirable fluffiness, but does not eclipse 70% standing up. You need at least 70% of Walton Goggins’ hair to be frizz before anything fun or cool can happen. This is, at best, 50% fluff. Tomb Raider suffers the most damaging of analyses—failure to make Walton Goggins’ hair stand up. (You think I’m joking but I have sat through some dogsh*t movies for Walton Goggins and there is definitely a correlation between the craziness of his hair, and the craziness of the movie.)
This new trailer is just whatever. Alicia Vikander looks like she’s trying, and there’s bonus Kristin Scott Thomas and a slowed-down cover of Destiny’s Child, but everything about Tomb Raider looks so generic. The action looks directly pulled from the video games, which is what you want, I guess? It hasn’t actually worked for any video game movie before, so really, there’s no telling what people want from a video game movie except for them to not exist. And everything around the action looks typically video game dumb, which has never appealed to anyone. Again, video game movies fail, one after the other. Why are we still doing this? Why are we still pretending anyone wants to see video games—which are already plenty cinematic in their own right—adapted into movies? You can make “video game” work as a structure concept, like the way Jumanji and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World use the structure of video game play to frame their plots, but actual video games do not work as movies.
Video games always have a map to follow and some doohickey to decode so you can find the whatsit to defeat the whosit. But movies don’t need any of that sh*t because an action movie only requires a hero, a quest, and a villain. The minute Lara Croft picked up that Little Orphan Annie decoder pin I groaned out loud because that is exactly the kind of in-game sh*t no one wants in movies. We have DECADES of video game movies failing to prove it. This whole video game adaptation thing will never work until someone f*cking cuts out all the video game sh*t—if it looks like you’re playing a level, scrap it and go back to the drawing board. Does anything about Tomb Raider make it look like the one to break the curse?