Director: Roar Uthaug (The Wave)
Starring Alicia Vikander, Daniel Wu, Walton Goggins, and Dominic West
REVIEWER: Lyall Carter
Adventurer Lara Croft must discover a tomb which contains a dark secret before a morally bankrupt corporation does and releases the tombs contents upon the world.
It can be quite difficult to make a crowd pleasing, swashbuckling, swaggering adventure films and Tomb Raider proves why.
Although Tomb Raider begins well with a fresh, grounding take on Lara Croft’s ‘origins’, it begins to go downhill fast from there. The story just does not work – in fact its more accurate to call it a series of action set pieces thrown together in place of a story. The audience can see the reveals a mile away and some of them are so poorly timed that they lose their power. When the secret the tomb holds that the whole film has been running towards is finally revealed it is incredibly disappointing. It’s also so incredibly serious as well – come on guys, adventure films are meant to be fun – and Nick Frost is woefully underutilised as comedic relief.
The action set pieces are reasonably good, but hardly memorable, with an escape from the baddies into a roaring river then onto a wrecked plane being the films best. But at the end of the day for an action sequence to truly work, the audience has to care about the characters and because of the woefully bad story, you just don’t.
Which is a shame because based on this outing, Alicia Vikander won’t be back as Lara Croft and she makes a decent effort with such bad material. Dominic West and Daniel Wu are solid as Croft’s father and companion, but Walton Goggins is abysmal as the films villain.
It’s a bit of a mess with a story that makes little sense. Unfortunately, after this effort, the whole Lara Croft story will probably be buried.