Tomb Raider – Movie Review

Lara Croft is Back…but is she any good?

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Ever since 1996, gamers have loved raiding tombs, and in many cases, marvelling at how sexy a pixellated woman in short shorts can look whilst wielding dual pistols and shooting dinosaurs….yeah, us gamers are a strange bunch.

Personally, I never really got into the original Tomb Raider games, but I could see their appeal, and it was only a matter of time until the films were made. Angelina Jolie donned the now-famous outfit and showed she meant business…even if the films were a bit naff.

2013 rolled around and Lara underwent a reinvention. There was a brand new game out, on Next Gen consoles, with amazing graphics, and a story that took our heroine back to her early days, investigating her father’s mysteries and uncovering Supernatural goings-on. This was followed by Rise Of The Tomb Raider. Both these games were fantastic. It was a reboot of the whole franchise, and thats where this new film picks up.

Alicia Vikander, Academy Award winner for The Danish Girl, is now in that dirty vest, in what can only be described as a lacklustre entry into the franchise.

The story is very weak. Lara believes her father to be dead after 7 years (a fact that gets mentioned way more times than it needs to) and she uncovers a secret room in Croft Manor which houses all sorts of investigations. Lara naturally picks up on one of them and goes in search of her father on an island in the middle of nowhere.

We are treated to various set pieces lifted directly from the rebooted game. We have the boat crash, the derelict airplane, a parachute scene and many more which are literally direct copies of the action in the game…which wouldn’t be a bad thing…except the rest of the film is just not that good.

There’s an extremely weak storyline, which does tear itself away from the game, but suffers because of it. There’s just the one solitary tomb, some random puzzles and traps and a fairly weak explanation of everything that’s been going on (which isn’t that much really).

Whilst Vikander is very believable as Lara, really channelling the character from the 2013 game, unfortunately the rest of the cast is not.

Dominic West, playing Richard Croft is awful. He has some of the worst lines I have ever heard on screen, delivered in a really unbelievable way, Walton Goggins as Vogel is just not as evil as he should have been, meaning the film lacks any kind of real antagonist.

There’s an especially weak opening ten to fifteen minutes where we see Lara kickboxing, and losing, and then working as a takeaway delivery cyclist, a skill that has zero relevance to anything in the film and a whole cycle chase sequence through the streets of London is both drawn out and unnecessary.

There’s some half-decent ideas in there, but it’s a weak adaptation of a pretty gripping and sometimes-dark game.

Rating : 4/10

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This entry was posted in 2016. Bookmark the permalink.

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