Tomb Raider

  • 24 Mar - 30 Mar, 2018
  • Farheen Jawaid
  • Reviews

Tomb Raider makes me appreciate the art of making a big commercial actioner. Not all movies need lots of action and computer generated effects, littered around a thinly plotted script that promises to be just a bearable watch. The real actioners, like movies from Marvel, Steven Spielberg, James Cameron (and to an extent, the visually kinetic popcorn fluff of Michael Bay) amongst other great filmmakers, have that personality and intelligence of making a blockbuster that tickles the audience imagination. Tomb Raider has none of that, but who is to blame?

Director Roar Uthaug can’t be blamed wholly as the movie works to a degree in the first hour. The real mess is on paper, where the story is generic with threadbare dialogues and predictable, boredom-inducing, plot points.

Writers Evan Daugherty, Geneva Robertson-Dworet and Alastair Siddons, in an attempt at keeping Lara Croft grounded, committed the biggest sin against a popcorn-movie protagonist: they made her uninteresting, even though there are scenes when we see her in full videogame-like resourcefulness and dexterity (for example: she gets shot, and is sprinting the next day, killing baddies with a bow and arrow).

The cast is fine to hammy, with Alicia Vikander bringing sensitivity and softness to the role. However, she can’t really make gold out of hay on her own.

In the story, Vikander is the beautiful and chiseled Lara Croft (Angelina Jolie starred played Lara before this reboot), a poor heiress living in London trying to make ends meet as an adrenalin pumping bicycle delivery girl, who practices kickboxing on the side.

Lara is the poor because her father – Lord Richard Croft (Dominic West) – an archaeologist, had gone missing seven years ago on an excavation. She feels that her father might be alive out there somewhere, leading her to not sign papers that legally accepts his death so that his estate can be handed over to her.

Lara, highly skilled in all things Indiana Jones-y, finds clues to his location so off she dashes after it. The place is an Island on the outskirts of Japan where the priceless Himiko’s tomb is hidden.

Along the way she meets Lu Ren (Daniel Wu, underused, but with better screen-time than in Geostorm). Ren’s father was the one who sailed Papa Croft to the Island and is missing too. Things quickly turn disastrous, but that’s guessable.

Tomb Raider is serviceable and highly forgettable. At least Angelina Jolie made you remember Lara Croft, even though both of her movies are well forgotten. •