Title – Tomb Raider (2018)
Director – Roar Uthaug (The Wave)
Cast – Alicia Vikander, Walton Goggins, Dominic West, Daniel Wu, Kristin Scott Thomas, Derek Jacobi, Nick Frost
Plot – In search of her missing father Lord Richard Croft (West), fierce adventurer Lara Croft (Vikander) must fight for survival on the mysterious island where her father disappeared from while dealing with the nefarious Mathias Vogel (Goggins).
“All myths are foundations of reality”
Review by Eddie on 16/03/2018
To the surprise of no one, Roar Uthaug’s reboot of the Tomb Raider franchise, 17 years on from the initial Angelina Jolie hit, is about as middle of the line as we’d all come to expect, sadly meaning that the wait continues for the first truly great video game adaptation (sorry Resident Evil fans).
To be fair and perhaps to be taken as a positive, Tomb Raider isn’t irremediably bad, at times it’s actually quite a lot of fun and Alicia Vikander makes for a likeable and believable raider of tombs but the biggest problem with Uthaug’s big-budgeted feature film is that it takes itself far too seriously (even more so when you take its daft plotline into account) and it often forgets to have fun along the way, meaning that the films brief flirtations with an action thrill ride are trodden over by more prevalent moments of blandness.
Considering its source material and in particular its basing around the great 2013 video game reboot of the franchise, Tomb Raider could’ve been something very special, a modern day female-orientated take on Indiana Jones that mixed in the humour, the action and the supernatural with memorable set-pieces and likeable characters but Uthaug’s take is far too po-faced to ever come close to achieving this outside of a neat river escape (taken straight from the aforementioned video-game) and some cool looking puzzle set-pieces.
It’s a shame that the films greatest set-pieces are so few and far between and it’s never a great sign for a film of this ilk when an action set-up involving a bunch of cyclists chasing each other in a game of “Foxhunting” is one of the standout set-pieces and one of the films highlights and its especially unfortunate that Vikander’s impressively committed turn as Croft is largely wasted on mediocre material.
Still not a household name, Vikander’s great body of work over the last few years is on show here as the Sweden born Oscar winner throws herself headfirst into the Croft role and creates a likeable and fiercely determined action heroine, in the battle between Jolie and Vikander, you’d say Vikander wins hands down.
Her screen presence and physicality elevate Uthaug’s film and help make up for the ho-hum support turns of Dominic West and Daniel Wu, while poor old Walton Goggins turn as the films token bad Mathias Vogel is a real waste of the talented performers’ skillset and helps add to the ingredients that make Uthaug’s film watchable, but so utterly and undeniably bland.
Final Say –
Too serious for its own good and lacking in genuinely memorable action moments, this visually pleasing update on the Tomb Raider franchise isn’t a total bust thanks largely to Vikander but it’s mostly a squandering of solid source material and another unfortunate entry into the disappointing video game adaptation library, a library that sadly continues to grow by the year.
2 ½ sprouts out of 5