Where Angelina Jolie’s Tomb Raider flicks were based on the earlier video games, this reboot – starring Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft – is based on the new Square Enix series.
Lara is a simple girl. She boxes at the local ring to keep fit, and earns her small keep by running food deliveries on her pushbike. She’s barely getting by, and could really do with the money left behind by her father; however, accepting that allowance would also mean accepting her dad is never coming back. He left years ago on a ‘work trip’ and hasn’t been seen since. Lara decides to prove once and for all that he is still alive, and enlisting the help of boat captain Lu Ren (Daniel Wu), sets off on an adventure.
It’s apparent from the get-go that director Roar Uthaug has probably played many video games – except perhaps Tomb Raider. This movie Lara is very different from her game counterpart, and many of the action scenes and puzzles appear to have been raided from other IPs. Moments intended to be humorous consistently fall flat, and there really isn’t much raiding of tombs. The characters are all relatively likeable, though the good guys never really seem to be in any immediate danger, and the baddie (Walton Goggins) isn’t at all threatening (unless you count his haircut).
Tomb Raider is a by-the-numbers action movie. Sure, there are easter eggs for fans to enjoy, and a definite father-daughter relationship to some extent, but as an introduction to Lara Croft, there’s very little character development; one minute she’s an apt delivery girl who knows her way around a bicycle, and the next she’s solving puzzles like she’s the next Inspector Clouseau. Of course, Lara’s her ‘father’s daughter’ and all that, but a little more origin always helps an origin story. As an action movie, Tomb Raider is adequate, but if you’re looking for Lara Croft, you might want to try a gaming console.
In cinemas: March 15, 2018
Starring: Alicia Vikander, Dominic West, Daniel Wu
Directed by: Roar Uthaug