Right off the bat- know that the new Tomb Raider movie isn’t bad. I’ve seen no shortage of terribly written fanboy criticism of the film- mostly dudes complaining that Oscar winner Alicia Vikander‘s breasts aren’t big enough to adequately play Lara Croft.
Apparently there is a huge group of idiots who never realized this movie is the NEW games version of Lara, and NOT the Angelina Jolie version. I mean seriously, how DARE you link chest size to performance ability? Clearly, they’re going to have a bad time with this film, because it’s actually good.
Vikander plays young Lara- when we say young, we mean she’s maybe 21 in the story – who isn’t the rich heiress Lady Croft that we’ve seen in previous films. She’s trying to make ends meet as a bike-propelled snack courier in the hustle and bustle of London. Her father mysteriously disappeared 7 years ago, and instead of legally declaring him dead (which would then grant her the inheritance monies and such), Lara stubbornly refuses to sign any of the documents.
I will say I was struck by the Dark Angel of it all – if you recall that 90’s series on FOX starring Jessica Alba as a genetically altered warrior who was working as a bike courier in a post apocalyptic Seattle – and giggled during the “fox hunt” scene.
What you really want to know though, is did the film have some expected “Tomb Raider” tropes like the (modern Lara) bow, climbing pick, and double tank tops. For the most part- yes, it did.
SCORE: solid 3.75 out of 5, viewed in IMAX non 3D, would see again
Vikander brough the right amount of insecurity to the character (remember, she’s supposed to be young and unsure of herself here), as well as her athleticism. As I said when the casting was confirmed- she was the perfect choice to play this version of Lara. She’s got the strength of body and mind, and holds her own in the action packed stunt sequences.
The adventure is well chosen, it’s dangerous and big without being too much for the first-time mission-goer Lara. It sets the stage for additional films in a series, without feeling like that was the plan all along.
The soundtrack was the highlight for me, because anytime Junkie XL aka Tom Holkenborg does a score I’m usually pretty happy.
The script was pretty bad at times. Namely, anytime Daniel Wu as Lu Ren spoke, it was like pulling teeth. His dialog was meant to be back filler for some scenes, and it annoyed me.
The opening voiceover of Dominic West as Lord Richard Croft didn’t need to be there. But if it DID, then the sequence later in the film WITH THE EXACT SAME DIALOG OF HIS didn’t need to be there. The film wasn’t so magnificent that I forgot details in the hour between the opening and the info dump.
Walton Goggins as Mathias Vogel is too simple. It’s pretty much the same character he’s played in the last six things he’s done, and I was hoping for more from this character. Not the actor’s fault, and he’s made his career out of being that guy.
Also, without spoilers- I guessed the twist/reveal in the first scene with the character in question. Kinda obvious, really.
The new Tomb Raider fits right in with the current film trend of presenting a rough and tumble modern female hero, and judging by the number of people trying to get into the screening, it’ll at least pull good box office numbers opening weekend.
It hits theaters on March 16th, 2018.