Hollywood is running out of fresh and original ideas, so it looks like unimaginative reboots are here to stay. The latest that none of us asked for is “Tomb Raider,” Warner Brothers’ attempt to get the ball rolling again on a abandoned adventure franchise — and to hopefully make audiences forget the two early 2000s films starring Angelina Jolie. This Indiana Jones rip-off is a mildly entertaining romp that suffers from its lazy story but is boosted by the strong lead performance by Oscar winner Alicia Vikander.
Lara, the fiercely independent daughter of adventurer Lord Richard Croft (Dominic West), embarks on a mission to a mythical island to rescue the famed explorer but instead falls into the evil clutches of Mathias (Walton Goggins), a man tasked with an excavation that may bring a deadly plague upon humanity. Watch as Lara raids tombs and solves the mystery of her father’s disappearance, all while wearing a skimpy tank top and shorts (a now-clichéd costume choice whose send-up was a highlight of last year’s fantastic “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle”).
There’s absolutely zero originality to this story, which is a shame. Even the hurried action scenes which often overtake the narrative are plagued with shockingly terrible special effects and unkempt filmmaking. Pay extra close attention to the capsized boat sequence and its atrocious editing. I am astounded that a film with such high expectations and an even higher Hollywood budget could look so inferior and sloppy. The core adventure elements are there and the strong lead actress is fully on board and sells her character to the max, but what’s lacking is the sense of unbridled fun. This movie is a little entertaining, but it mostly will wear you down.
I love the idea of a strong female driven action / adventure series and Vikander is a fantastic choice to play Lara, but this uninspired origin story swiftly wears thin and settles itself into a long loop of repetition. Instead of going in a new and exciting direction with the popular late Nineties video game heroine, the plot is plain vanilla. We can only hope for a more kick-ass story line in the likely sequel.