'Shadow of the Tomb Raider' completes young Lara Croft's journey this fall
Mar 16 2018
"Tomb Raider reboots the franchise with a more grounded approach and a star who's clearly more than up to the task - neither of which are well served by an uninspired origin story".
However, the movie's adventures, locales and action will be just as ambitious as the game's best cut scenes because director Roar Uthaug is himself a gamer who was intent on translating the intensity of the video game experience to theaters. A bit more creativity would have pushed Tomb Raider into the top ranks. I do look forward to seeing what this new game is all about, though. The action begins in London with our heroine in the making Lara (Alicia Vikander) as a young and intelligent but misguided woman, working as a bike riding food deliverer and practicing Mixed Martial Arts on the side. This version of the character is extremely hip and is motivated by an understandable motivation of wanting to make her own way in the world. This leads to a journey to the island of Yamatai, home of the ancient Japanese Queen Himiko. Perhaps testament to Vikander's stellar acting is that it seems to be the best thing about the film. The film almost gets a pass for putting a talented Oscar-winning actress in its lead role and allowing her to take the spotlight, but not even Alicia Vikander can save this film from its own confusing mediocrity.
When the film begins, Lara Croft is not yet an accomplished worldwide adventurer. Here, though, she mostly just runs. The Associated Press gave a similar review, writing, "As it stands, though, "Tomb Raider" is an often fun and visually compelling action pic, that is also sometimes unintentionally silly, with a great actress leading the whole thing". Take away the player input, and the result is a movie with a dour personality and not much else.
It's been said before here at Shacknews that there are pitfalls to creating modern video game movie adaptations. Now 21, her life lacks objective and focus, while she also has to decide whether to officially declare her father dead.
The Los Angeles Times' Justin Chang had perhaps the most glowing take on the new Lara Croft, arguing that the movie makes "course corrections" to update the story for the times, replacing Croft's signature short shorts with pants and casting a smaller-sized actress. The ensemble is pretty weak and all of the supporting characters have incredibly one-dimensional motivations that don't hold up. There, an expedition, sponsored by a shadowy organization called Trinity and lead by a deranged archeologist named Mathias (Walton Goggins, effortlessly menacing) is taking place to recover the contents of the tomb. From the beginning, Lara Croft was just an interesting and iconic character.
Yes, the archaeological adventurer once kicked butt through two big-budget Angelina Jolie flicks.