2 Mini Film Reviews: TOMB RAIDER and GAME NIGHT

Director: Roar Uthaug.
Cast: Alicia Vikander / Dominic West / Kristen Scott Thomas / Daniel Wu /
Score: Junkie XL.
Cinematography: George Richmond.
Content Advisory: PG 13 for sequences of violence and action.
Source: Rented.

Lara Croft, the fiercely independent daughter of a missing adventurer, must push herself beyond her limits when she discovers the island where her father disappeared.

Want to watch an entertaining action movie? Watch this film. It's a terrific action flick, gorgeously shot, and with a tight, fast-paced plot. The dialogue is good - although predictable -, the action scenes are incredible, and Alicia Vikander is everything. She's exceptional.  She gives us a more vulnerable, relatable, human Lara Croft to root for, and her acting is simply perfect. 

The plot is uninspired, but Tomb Raider is still a fun, exciting reboot led by an amazing actress.

Directors: John Francis Daley / Jonathan Goldstein
Cast: Rachel McAdams / Jason Bateman /
Score: Cliff Martinez
Cinematography: Barry Peterson
Content Advisory: R for language, sexual references, and some violence.
Source: Rented.

A group of friends who meet regularly for game nights find themselves entangled in a real-life mystery when the shady brother of one of them is seemingly kidnapped by dangerous gangsters.

What a waste of time. I read that premise, was instantly obsessed, but after watching just a few minutes of this film I was furious. I'm furious because it's a missed opportunity. It could have been amazing.
It wasn't. 

The good things: 
1: Rachel McAdams. She's not great, but she's better than the rest of the cast and her outfits are amazing. They've dressed her so well. She looks fantastic.  
2: Billy Magnussen. His part is small, but he plays the dumb, hot-headed blonde young guy so well. His lines actually made me laugh. 

The bad things: 
- SO DARN UNREALISTIC. Like sure, I'm not saying that there can't be over-the-top moments, but you gotta sell it. You have to find that balance and make it work. Instead, this plot is totally far-fetched, ludicrous, and without a hint of realism. You can't even suspend disbelief because the writers aren't giving you a reason to care; their writing and characters are too poor. 
- Comedy? Not so much. I never laughed. I get that humour is subjective, but still - I laugh pretty easily in comedies, and this gave me nothing. Maybe it's also a matter of having the wrong actors, actors who can't do comedy, trying to do comedy? Ugh I dunno. All I know is that the plot's stupid, the acting's weak, and the funnies aren't there. It's dumb and silly and the writing's pathetic. 
- Characters? Please. They're hardly characters. To enjoy the game, you have to know the players, and not one of these characters is well established and developed. The plot and the "humour" are being forced onto flat characters, which also gives the comedy nothing to work of off. Overall, it's a mess of weak characters and bad writing.   

I can imagine how amazing this film could have been. The premise has so much potential! But unfortunately, it flops big time.  

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