As Hollywood runs out of ideas, its latest reboot to grace cinemas is Tomb Raider with the main character Lara Croft. With no sight of Angelina Jolie who set the tone for the two original films Alicia Vikander slips on the infamous sleeveless shirt to tackle the bad guys and save humanity.
What you have here is a slow burner, a movie that very slowly sets the story for clearly what will be if not a trilogy a series of Lara Croft inspired films. This isn’t to say it’s a bad film, but it is lacking all the things you have come to expect from these kinds of films. This feels like its setting up to be something similar to that of the Hunger Games with it’s strong leading lady that grows to become an icon. But with a reboot similar to that of Spider man and the many reboots that it’s taken because it just hasn’t worked.
Meet Lara Croft who has a winning attitude and doesn’t give up. Her father left her and a very privileged life when she was young only to not come back when she was a Teenager. Thought to be dead, Lara is asked to sign the papers not only declaring her father dead but also taking on the company and manor left to her by her father.
But in once last attempt to find her father Lara is left a trail of clues to his last whereabouts only to find a much more sinister search than she bargained for.
Leading the pack is Alicia Vikander playing Lara Croft. You’ll know her from Jason Bourne, The Danish Girl and The Man From U.N.C.L.E. With her husky voice and natural beauty, she seems to lack something that has come to be expected of Lara Croft. This is in no doubt because she is filling the shoes of Angelina Jolie. Understanding this is a complete reboot, the sassiness, quit wit and sense of fearlessness seems to be lost with this young Croft. But that isn’t to say Vikander will grow with the character as the series progresses.
Where this film lacks is in it’s “wow” moments or scenes, ideas, story lines that pull you in and make you leave thinking how “wow” said points are. Instead you are left thinking, is that the sound people really make when wounded, do people really get chased onto the exact boat they are looking for among hundreds.
While visually and also with the sound there is nothing amazing it also doesn’t disappoint. The film was basic and it didn’t try to do anything special or even “wow” the audience. From the originals you came to expect some amazing special effects. Not to mention some fancy fighting scenes and gizmos and gadgets. But you are left underwhelmed with this as she fights with a bow and arrow and almost every time taps out of a fight.
It’s hard not to compare this film to the previous Tomb Raider films despite it being a complete reboot and going back to her younger years. And without diving into the game adaptation on which the entire Lara Croft film franchise is built, this film as a stand alone is paving the way for what may be some great films. Until then, this will only just tickle the interest of a fan but by no means bring in a wealth of new fans.
Review by Jay Cook