While I'd be no good at playing the 2013 Tomb Raider reboot, I saw someone else play it. At first, I thought it was too depressing, but on a second watch, I got into it. It was a wonderful game that balanced action with characters and really made you feel like you were exploring some lost civilization. Didn't like the other games as well, but it is what it is.
So I decided to rent this film and check it out. I'd heard they'd cut out stuff from the game, but I thought I'd still watch it all the way through. Let me tell you, I paid a dollar for it, and I feel robbed.
I only watched like the first 25 minutes of it and then skimmed the visuals ahead, but that was enough to turn me away. They didn't just take out a little, they basically took out EVERYTHING.
For one, Himiko, the Sun Queen, has totally different powers, a different title, and her entire backstory is warped to something more generic. Lara herself is NOT the student of archeology she's supposed to be, not the introverted, skilled but naive girl with a passion for history who you'd believe would stop and appreciate the artifacts you can pick up in the games, and list things about them. She's not even paving her own way and not using her family's money out of a sense of not getting by on title, but because she won't accept her dad as gone.
Lara also sells off her pendant, which I hardly believe she'd do, and said pendant has a totally different context (making me believe her pawning it even less). And really? She could have signed some papers, gotten all her money, and kept her precious keepsake, but she said "nope". Why? Moving plot along, most likely. Though this Lara didn't strike me as very smart.
Want to see all the interesting supporting characters? They're gone. Oh, but Ana from game two makes a brief appearance. And we get original supporting characters who are no doubt less interesting.
Want to see all the supernatural monsters on the island? They're gone. Just a trap filled tomb. Want to see a variety of ancient structures to inspire awe? I didn't see the whole movie and I know they're not there.
In fact, it takes the film almost 40 minutes, more than a QUARTER of the run time, to even GET to the accursed island.
Now to be fair, movies that are adaptations are judged on two levels, as a stand alone and as an adaptation. For the former, I can't say with any real expertise. For the latter, it fails spectacularly by taking out everything of worth and interest and twisting the characters in pathetic ways.
I know a LOT of stuff would have needed to be cut for time, but they could have done FAR better than this shell. And really, if it was budget, all I have to say is: If you don't have the budget to pull it off correctly, then don't do it!