In my younger days, way back in 2001-2003 I was kind of okay with Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) and Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003). I thought Angelina Jolie bore a pretty good likeness to the video game version of Laura Croft and the films were highly stylized to match the game; so I guess these movies worked out okay. I mean, they weren't academy award winners but they were at least fun.
Fast forward to March 16, 2018 and we have a reboot creatively titled "Tomb Raider". I will say right off the bat, I like the actress Alicia Vikander. She was great in "Ex Machina" (2014) and "Jason Bourne" (2016). I think she is a very versatile and hard working actress. Tomb Raider is not her strongest piece, but she handles the script and directing well. Vikander is a much more agile, athletic and spunkier Lara Croft than the former Jolie. We get more of an acting role here. In many action films you get a movie star, moving on screen and punching the bad guys to the ground. Vikander's Laura Croft doesn't always win and has realistic struggles in various sequences throughout this project.
Alicia Vikander. "Tomb Raider" (2018)
The film itself lacks that fresh new feel the audience needs from an adventure like this. I would say that is the hard thing about reboots, unless it is done totally different, there will be nothing new to bite into. "Tomb Raider" (2018) provides more of the same formulaic material that makes action films like these feel like the norm. You leave feeling like, "...maybe I saw that two years ago in that one scene in Avengers." or "Along with the action, let's actually package this into a fresh new story for the audience."
I mean, sure we are given some back story regarding the relationship with her father. We also see how she was a privileged child with options that chose a more rugged path. The movie center's around her attempt to figure out what happened to her father upon his disappearance and assumed death. On this journey, her strengths and weaknesses are tested.
Walton Goggins is the Antagonist in the story and a weak one at that. He plays Mathias Vogel a contractor who is commissioned by his employer to confiscate an entombed relic discovered by Lord Richard Croft 7 years ago. Any villain whose only strength is that he is bold enough to shoot a gun and surround himself with bigger guys that carry bigger guns is pretty weak to me...but that's just me.
It's probably going to feel like one of those stories you've seen at least half a million times. What I can say, is that the action sequences were fun and well put together. I really like how kinetic everything felt. Vikander was able to keep up and flex her athletic skills with everything being thrown at her. I am a sucker for great cinematography and I feel that director Roar Uthaug and cinematographer George Richmond approached this quite well. The movie felt big with sweeping landscapes and mammoth oceans, but given the lack luster writing it just wasn't big enough.
"Tomb Raider" would probably work for Moms and Dads with a teenage son who has a crush on Alicia Vikander. Outside of that, nothing new here. You're better off going to see "Black Panther" (2018) again for your 3rd or 4th time in its 5th week in the theaters. The way things are looking, I could see panther easily being #1 in ticket sales in a rare 5th weekend run. #wakandaforever...unfortunately not #tombraiderforever...