Lara Croft (Alicia Vikander) is the fiercely independent daughter of an eccentric adventurer who vanished when she was scarcely a teen. Now a young woman of 21 without any real focus or purpose, Lara navigates the chaotic streets of trendy East London as a bike courier, barely making the rent. Determined to forge her own path, she refuses to take the reins of her father’s global empire just as staunchly as she rejects the idea that he’s truly gone. Advised to face the facts and move forward after seven years without him, even Lara can’t understand what drives her to finally solve the puzzle of his mysterious death. Leaving everything she knows behind, Lara goes in search of her dad’s last-known destination: a fabled tomb on a mythical island that might be somewhere off the coast of Japan. But her mission will not be an easy one; just reaching the island will be extremely treacherous. Suddenly, the stakes couldn’t be higher for Lara, who—against the odds and armed with only her sharp mind, blind faith and inherently stubborn spirit—must learn to push herself beyond her limits as she journeys into the unknown. If she survives this perilous adventure, it could be the making of her, earning her the name tomb raider.
What We Thought:
Tomb Raider is the latest CGI-fest to hit theaters and unfortunately, it’s just like all the rest. My initial reaction to the film was meh, and after thinking about it, it’s still meh. There’s nothing new, original, or overly exciting about the film.
The reboot of the video game turned movie series has no connection to the Angelina Jolie films. This time Alicia Vikander stars as Lara and the film is based more on the video games than the Jolie films were. Vikander is a good actress and easy on the eyes, unfortunately the film relies on CG and a lot of it doesn’t look good.
That’s my biggest issue with films like this, all the CGI that looks terrible. Lara crashes on the island and the boat hitting the rocks and all that looks so bad. It looks fake and unrealistic. In movies like Star Wars and comic book based films, you expect over the top effects that are fake. They are supposed to look fake and super human. This is a boat crashing and it looks fake. That’s not good.
The story itself is fine. Lara’s father goes missing so she uses his research to track him down on an island where he was searching for a tomb. Others, led by Walton Goggins, are also there looking. It’s easy enough to follow and she gets Daniel Wu to get her there by boat. Nothing we haven’t seen before, but I’m fine with the story.
Daniel Wu is another issue I have with the movie. If you watch Into the Badlands you know how awesome he is. In this he barely fights. He uses a gun, but I don’t remember him even punching a guy. Wu is a fantastic martial artist, how do you not have him beating people up? I know it’s Vikander’s film, but why cast a guy like Wu if you aren’t going to use his skills?
Tomb Raider is the latest adventure film to rely too much on CGI and not give us anything new. I don’t see it doing too much at the US box office, but I can see it being a hit overseas where that box office will probably be enough to land it a sequel. Its ending leaves it open for a sequel if not more. I don’t know if I was disappointed in it because I wasn’t expecting much to begin with. I expect Rampage (another video game turned movie) to be similar but at least that should have The Rock making me laugh. Hopefully.
Cast & Crew:
- Alicia Vikander
- Dominic West
- Walton Goggins
- Daniel Wu
- Kristin Scott Thomas