Movie Review: Tomb Raider Tumbles

Movie Review: Tomb Raider Tumbles
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About the Author

Tyler Collins

Tyler Collins

Tyler Collins is a thespian and performer who has worked with theatre, film, and TV across Ontario. He comes from Campbellton, NB, and has lived in North Oakville over 20 years. He is a graduate of Journalism from Sheridan College. Twitter: @MrTyCollins

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I’m going to spoil something right out of the gate: there’s no hidden treasure here.

For much of Warner Bros. newest adventure film, the ominous Richard Croft warns his daughter Lara of a great danger. If the titular “tomb” were to be opened, he says, an unstoppable evil will be unleashed on the world.

Maybe it would have been better if this tomb stayed closed. This new version of the Tomb Raider franchise is passably entertaining at best, but it’s mostly boring. The plot is slow to unfold and burdened by way too much exposition. It’s an overlong snooze fest.

Loosely based on the characters and setup of the popular video game franchise and 2001 film starring Angelina Jolie, the reboot follows an original story for the series. But don’t get excited by that premise.

British heiress-reject-turned delivery girl Lara Croft (Alicia Vikander) discovers a secret about her father’s disappearance. To find him, she must travel to a dangerous island off the coast of Japan. There, an evil company is desperately trying to open a cursed tomb, and quel surprise! Lara turns out to be the only one who can save the day.

Vikander’s performance as Lara is by far the most exciting and attention-grabbing part of the film. The script, sadly, gives her almost nothing to work with. Worse still, there’s several contradictions and potholes in Lara’s character and backstory.

Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures

She’s called intelligent and resourceful without any evidence to show why or how that’s true. She somehow escapes several natural disasters and scuffles that would wipe out a Navy SEAL. And she’s the only survivor of multiple escapades.

It’s a miracle Lara survives the movie. We learn she’s a kickboxer and talented cyclist, but none of that is adequate training for adventure survival. From a small boat crushed by 20-foot rocky shoals to jumping out of a crumbling airplane over a waterfall, it’s hilariously implausible. There were at least five scenes where she should have died.

None of them are truly entertaining either. The only amusing relief from the overly intense (though infrequent) action scenes are the occasional cameos that provide a burst of fun. Nick Frost and Sir Derek Jacobi, for instance, both have fun surprise appearances.

One final word of caution: the film is quite intense for its PG rating. Quite a few characters are killed on screen, and some of these are quite gruesome. This is definitely not a light kid’s movie. (Unless you want them seeing a man shot in the head.)

It’s hard to say anything positive about the new Tomb Raider when they don’t even get inside the tomb until the last half hour. And nothing gets raided from it, either. It’s a thin stretch that snaps when nothing dynamic happens in the whole movie.

The only successful raid here is the money woefully snatched from the wallets of anyone who joins the film’s audience.

Tomb Raider
1 1/2 out of 4 stars

PG, 1hr 58mins. Action Adventure.
Directed by Roar Uthaug.
Starring Alicia Vikander, Dominic West, Daniel Wu and Walton Goggins.
Now Playing at Film.Ca Cinemas, Cineplex Winston Churchill and Cineplex Oakville & VIP. Also in IMAX.

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