Lara Croft was one of Angelina Jolie’s more iconic personas on celluloid, and so Alicia Vikander had really big shoes to fill in this reboot of Tomb Raider. Though in my eyes, they are just equally as gorgeous, this new take on this franchise tries to humanize Lara. Here, she bleeds, fail,s and gets hurt, unlike the superhuman portrayal of Jolie. So, does Vikander’s version live up to the bar that the previous series has set?
The film opens with Lara being beaten up in a kickboxing match by a more boyish female. So, they’re going for the more real portrayal, eh? Let’s see how this holds up. +1
Then, Lara shows her agility on a road bike as she gets chased all around London by male bikers in a game of chasing fox or something. But her daddy issues get her into a car accident with some popo. Suddenly Lara is a juvenile delinquent. Okay... so where is this exactly going? +1
She apparently still is rich in this version as she just has to sign her inheritance papers to declare her father’s death and all her financial woes get solved, but she doesn’t. Lara’s got some big issues. +2
She suddenly solves some puzzle left to her by her dad by turning some knobs. It opens, almost magically, and with it is a riddle. Okay, now we’re talking. Let’s crack this DaVinci Code. But as the film progresses, riddles just get solved from thin air and puzzles and huge ass safes are opened without really explaining why, so why should we care? In other words, excitement level: zero. -5
Action sequences are hard hitting at certain moments. The shipwreck scene, even though was shot a bit dark, was exciting enough but my favorite is the rusty plane scene. That was fun. +3
But again, she suddenly becomes this superhuman after being established as just another ordinary delinquent juvenile. I guess that the film is trying to show us how far the triumph of the human spirit can take you. A.k.a. adrenaline, maybe? -4
Enough ranting, let’s talk about the support characters. Lu Ren, the drunken ship owner of Endurance played by Daniel Wu is such an under-utilized character. In one scene, it establishes some attraction he had for Lara but is never followed up. He's literally just a support character all throughout with no moment of his own. Such a waste of gravitas. +3
The film’s main antagonist, Mathias Vogel, played by Walton Goggins is downright scary! Though portrayed almost stereotypically, he is quite effective for his role in this whole story, if this film even really had one. +2
Then there’s the father, Lord Richard Croft, played by Dominic West who’s been missing for seven years. There is some twist somewhere there that I won’t divulge but just for the purposes of discussion, I just didn’t really like the cray cray portrayal of this character. -1
And we have the big reveal of what Himiko is all about. It is quite terrifying, with me hoping that it goes all the way like The Mummy epicness levels. But alas it just fell flat. Again such a big waste. -4
And that brings us to a total of negative 2! My first negative score. I actually didn’t dislike the film that much, but it is forgettable. It’s also not that bad but it ain’t memorable either. I only watched it 'cause I’m totally in love with Alicia Vikander but her screen presence and acting chops could not salvage the film’s potholes. In the end, it looks like they’re gearing for a sequel. I really hope they do a better job this time.
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Photographs courtesy of Christian Black for Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc.