Tomb Raider Review - A Reboot Worth Seeing?

Projected Film: Tomb Raider Review

Runtime: 118mins | Director: Roar Uthaug | Rating: 1.5 Stars

I walked into Tomb Raider filled with dread - there’s no two ways about it.
Having watched the trailer it seemed as if it would simply be another terrible video-game adaptation with lots of action and little substance.

Admittedly, that isn’t necessarily bad though. After all, sometimes it’s nice to switch off, watch a film and not have to pay attention the whole way through.

To add to my fears though, I strongly believe(d) this reboot to be totally unnecessary. For me, whilst no-where near perfect, the 2001 Lara Croft: Tomb Raider served us everything that could be expected from a Lara Croft film – action, adventure and sex appeal.

So, I imagine you’re wondering whether my dread turned into something more positive by the time the credits rolled?

It did not. It confirmed every one of my suspicions.

Projected Film: Tomb Raider Review

Before I begin my criticism of Tomb Raider though I feel it’s important to state I had no problem with the casting of Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft. In fact, I’m a big fan of her, especially in Ex Machina.

That being said, others did, and a lot of criticism surrounded her on account of her un-Angelina-Jolie-esque body. Whilst many (including me) believe Angelina Jolie to have been the perfect casting, I don’t think the criticism she received was warranted. After all, Lara Croft is more than just her iconicly triangular breasts!

Unfortunately, though, I’d be lying if I said Vikander didn’t disappoint me. Whilst she provided a fresh take on the iconic character, I couldn’t see past her terrible British accent which distracted me throughout the entire film. It felt incredibly forced and odd.

What’s worse though… no, not worse, just disappointing, is that despite knowing the classic hurdles a video-game adaptation has to jump, it still fell at every single one like most of its genre predecessors.

…I thought Lara Croft was meant to be good at avoiding obvious peril?

Exciting villain? No.

Walton Goggins had promise as the film's villain but is entirely wasted. Rather than giving him any form of depth, Tomb Raider succumbs to lazy writing.
He has no motive for his villainy throughout the film other than wanting to get home to his family and having to obey a higher power. Not only is this cliché but it robs him of any agency, ultimately making him incredibly boring and pointless.

Projected Film: Tomb Raider Review

As for Lara Croft herself… where to begin?

Seeing as Tomb Raider is meant to kick-start a new franchise, you’d hope they’d give her a decent origin story to make us care about her even slightly.
You’d be wrong - her origin is near non-existent.

Instead, director Roar Uthaug chooses spectacle over substance, and as a result, any dialogue which attempts to provide a story later in the film feels out of place and lost.

To rub salt in the already gaping wounds, Tomb Raider also suffered from the usual video-game adaptation clichés: poor CGI, woeful inconsistency and terrible dialogue - there were multiple times where I actively cringed at what was being said.

Despite the pretty dismal picture I’ve painted, Tomb Raider isn’t all bad. As you’d expect from this sort of film, the action sequences in it are brilliant and the inevitable tomb Lara raids is filled to the brim with exciting (but again, cliché) traps.

Projected Film: Tomb Raider Review

Unfortunately, whilst I had faint hope Tomb Raider would break the poor video-game adaptation curse, it didn’t and I can’t recommend it.

Instead, my advice is to save your money and see Tomb Raider when it comes out for home viewing. I can’t deny that some of the spectacle will be lost at home (one of its only redeeming features) but at least you won’t resent paying admission.

Put the money towards buying one of the games instead – they’re infinitely better and you’ll get more from it. 

To watch the trailer - Click Here.


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