Tomb Raider (2018)
Critic Consensus: 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.
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Critic Reviews for Tomb Raider
Roar Uthaug (The Wave) directed; his work feels derivative of Steven Spielberg's first two Indiana Jones movies, though not half as entertaining.
Vikander, who can balance flinty charm with sympathetic humanism, helped keep me invested, but Tomb Raider could best be described as a solid step forward, away from past wrongs.
Vikander's expressive face is a godsend. Whether being throttled by a goon or torn away from a loved one, this stricken Lara feels like one of us.
"Tomb Raider," stuffed though it is with curses, vaults, and locks that cry out for secret keys, is not really about a legendary quest, or family honor. It's about Alicia Vikander.
Audience Reviews for Tomb Raider
So [i]Tomb Raider[/i] was a game from Core Design that was released back in 1996 primarily for the Sony [i]Playstation[/i]. Many sequels followed over the years taking us up to the 2013 release which was a reboot of the games series. This 2013 version gave us a new in depth look into the origins of the games protagonist, Lara Croft. This 2018 movie is an adaptation of the 2013 game reboot whilst also being a reboot of the first two [i]Tomb Raider[/i] movies from 2001 and 2003. A Tsunami of Cliches (the plot): The most generic plot they have come up with? Yep. Lara (Alicia Vikander) is essentially a mega rich British woman thanks to her fathers business of whatever. But for some reason Lara is not interested in accepting her fathers inheritance because reasons. Her father Richard (Dominic West) disappeared whilst searching for Himiko, a mythical Queen who was said to have power over life and death. Richard is presumed dead (of course). So after much personal angst and discovering the stereotypical hidden chamber stocked with clues, Lara goes off on an intrepid adventure in search of her dad. Briefly, she meets up with a good looking toned Chinese bloke. She convinces him to help her. They both sail off to find this mysterious island set right in the middle of a treacherous section of the Pacific (where no on ever survives type scenario). They get shipwrecked on the island. Lara gets 'rescued' by what turns out to be the bad guys. The bad guys work for a dodgy company who are also after this mystical supernatural power. The bad guys are all big muscular blokes carrying large automatic weapons. They find the location of the mystical Queens tomb. Its chock full of booby traps. They get past all the booby traps. All the bad guys get killed. Lara makes it out alive as the whole place comes tumbling down. Generic enough for you? The start of this movie doesn't really help. Lara is in London working for as a bike courier and decides to enter into this rather childish game of chase for money. Basically loads of blokes try to catch her and grab this fox tail off her bike (essentially a flag) before she can reach a certain destination, I think? The entire sequence looks lame and stupid. Its cringeworthy because the whole time there is this rock soundtrack playing in the background as if the entire sequence is supposed to be 'kewl'; like its some kind of extreme sports around west London, pfft! All the guys chasing her have these extreme haircuts, shades, clearly expensive bike gear, inked and pierced up etc...Its so flippin' pathetic. But at least that sequence was real in real locations. Unfortunately so much of this movie looks fake because its bolstered with tonnes of CGI. The now infamous waterfall sequence which we all saw in the trailers, yeah it looks terrible. The bomber looks terrible, the rapids look terrible, and Vikander copy and pasted against it all looks terrible. Speaking of that bomber, kinda looked like a WWII plane. That in itself would be a huge discovery...but who cares! No time for that. Literally everything Lara does in this movie is against bloody obvious CGI. All the set piece backdrops, every time she leaps across something (in cliched slow motion), hangs from something, stands in front of something. Not only that but Lara is bloody useless in this movie too. She literally spends the whole time getting beaten to a pulp by various blokes, only occasionally does she manage to actually win...kinda. I mean on one hand that's more realistic for sure but blimey does she take a beating in this. Lara also takes a huge amount of damage ranging from really nasty landings from heights, getting struck by objects, and even getting a puncture wound in the belly! Its like they went for realism in terms of fighting blokes, but went down the videogame invincibility route for surviving really nasty incidents. The whole bit with Lara finding her dad was incredibly [b]incredibly[/b] predictable and cliched. I mean it was so fudging obvious right from the start. The fact it actually happened and director Roar Uthaug tried to make it surprising just made me facepalm. Not only that but naturally her dad just happens to have a bow and arrow with him, something that Lara just happens to be a dab hand at (ugh!! please!). So now Lara's running around with an apparent unlimited supply of arrows. Oh and all the bad guys drop dead straight away after being shot by an arrow, stone dead instantly. Lets take a quick look at the bad guys who are led by Mathias Vogel (Walton Goggins) and who all work for the shadowy Hyd...I mean Trinity organisation. Well as I said before they're pretty much you're bog standard merc type in movies these days. All roided up with hipster beards and tattoos. There only appears to be about six of them at first but their numbers become inexplicably bigger during an action sequence. Suddenly there are loads of guys just waiting to get shot with guns or arrows. The only bad guy of any worth is of course Vogel. A solid slimy villain who is quite happy to kill people. The rest are just background fodder for weapons and booby traps. I find it amusing in movies like this how both the protagonist and antagonist are looking for one specific item and often ignore everything else. Like in this movie they discover this ancient tomb with wall to wall treasures such as ancient text on walls, markings, various artifacts, what looked like precious gems or stones to stop a booby trap etc...Heck even the various skeletons lying around the place could be historically important. But they always totally ignore all that, often allowing the stuff to get destroyed in the process. Frankly the entire movie is a snooze fest until Lara and co reach the subterranean tomb of Himiko. There we get some nice thrills with the booby traps but even that can't detract from the fact its retreading very familiar ground from a certain Spielberg/Lucas franchise. I mean they virtually copy some aspects beat for beat to a degree. I quite liked the notion that this ancient mystical power turns out to be a deadly potent disease. But then they absolutely ruined it by going down this zombie-esque state route. I mean honesty, hasn't that whole angle been totally milked dry already, come on guys. I quite liked how they made the movie a bit more adult orientated, a bit dark. Its was also acceptable that Lara wasn't a superhero type character all the time, although I felt she did need to be a bit tougher at times. Its a fine balance I know but Lara did seem a bit sidelined in her own movie at times (maybe that's just me). But overall I'm pretty shocked at how generic this was and the fact they copied other movies.
You just can't win with game adaptations. This one is so close to the two latest games that you sometimes wonder if you played exactly that action sequence before. Alicia Vikander is also a pretty perfect cast, both likable and tough. Unfortunately the showdown in the proverbial tomb falls a bit short, both in design and delivery. This is still a fine adventure film that would deserve to be continued.
How to deliver a film based on a video game known for its lust appeal, physicality, and some few puzzles to figure out? Well, this is more than simply a decent attempt, that's yards better than the previous one. Vikander provides the charisma aplenty and the action fully engages the physicality of the video games. Interestingly, the "little girl looking for her long lost Dad" angle was possibly the weakest element here. Felt like the second one would be better somehow.
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