Movie Review: Tomb Raider (2018)

Starring: Alicia Vikander, Dominic West and Walton Goggins

Directed by: Roar Uthaug

Lara Croft is the daughter of Richard Croft, a wealthy businessman and adventurer who went missing without a trace 7 years ago. Lara finds a few clues as to where her father was headed and is determined to follow the clues to find out what happened to him.

Movies that are based around video games have always been quite hit or miss with the majority falling into the latter category. The first Tomb Raider movies that were released starring Angelina Jolie as main character Lara Croft were pretty awful from what I can remember so I was hoping that the grossly talented Alicia Vikander could breathe some life into the character and make Tomb Raider an exciting and successful movie. In the past couple of years she’s been very good in the everything that I’ve seen her in such as The Man From U.N.C.L.E, Jason Bourne , The Fifth Estate and she was at her pinnacle in both Ex Machina and The Danish Girl which meant that I had 100% faith in her ability to make Lara Croft relevant again.

Unfortunately not even Alicia Vikander was able to restore my interest in the Lara Croft character as a large portion of this movie was pretty poor to say the least. I’ve seen Vikander perform brilliantly in the past so I know she’s capable of delivering some incredible acting but here as Lara Croft she seemed very wooden and flat and I’m unsure whether it was the poor material or direction she was given or whether she failed to immerse herself into the role. Whatever is to blame really affected my enjoyment of the movie as watching a pretty boring central character that was void of any charisma was pretty tough to sit through. Another fatal flaw in the story telling in this movie was that at no point did I feel Lara Croft was ever in danger of failing or dying. Obviously the central hero character was never going to die but on some action blockbusters you’re brought to the edge of your seat in suspense even though you know the hero will live however in Tomb Raider that edge of your seat nail-biting tension was missing and it really let the film down.

There were a few things in this film that I did like and the main one was Walton Goggins as the chief bad guy, Mathias Vogel. There’s something about Goggins that seems to suit playing the villainous character and more often than not he’s able to knock his performance out of the park and this film was no different but it was just a shame that everything else around him wasn’t quite up to his standard. The visuals and CGI were pretty decent for the most part although there were a few questionable looking scenes as Lara was flying through the air but overall they were pretty successful. One of the better scenes in the movie surprisingly came at the beginning before Croft even set out on her adventure and was racing around London on her bicycle being hunted by other cyclists, the scene was fast paced, high energy and quite an exciting watch.

Overall, Tomb Raider felt like another flop just like the Angelina Jolie predecessors as the Lara Croft character is once again failed by poor story telling and acting. Eventually Hollywood will be able to produce a decent Tomb Raider movie that does the games justice but this one wasn’t it despite having a solid cast.

4/10

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