As I was watching the new “Tomb Raider”, which is based on the Lara Croft video games, and, of course, is a reboot of the ‘01 & ‘03 films starring Angelina Jolie, I couldn’t help but think that this is the kind of movie normally released in the summertime, not in mid-March.
That’s because “Tomb Raider” is a paint by numbers, big-budget, action/adventure, with numerous perilous action sequences set in exotic locations. Oscar winner Alicia Vikander takes on the Lara Croft character.
Croft is a young woman living in London who enjoys MMA and extreme bike racing. Her father left seven years ago on a “business trip” and never returned. Lara still believes he’s not dead – and wants to prove it. So she digs through some of his old belongings, and what she finds sends her on a mission to a mysterious, South Seas island looking for answers.
“Tomb Raider” is your standard popcorn movie. There’s nothing fresh or special about the story, the performances or the action scenes. It’s all passable, though there is the typical ancient, supernatural mumbo-jumbo that’s a part of every mummy/tomb movie.
A few light attempts at humor, particularly two scenes with Nick Frost as a pawn shop operator, don’t gel with everything else.
The biggest positive is Vikander. She gives it her all in a physically demanding role as the new generation Lara Croft. This character, and her performance, fit in nicely with the latest trend of female action movie heroes. Wonder Woman would be proud.
But what keeps “Tomb Raider” down is its script, which is filled with predictable situations and cliché dialogue. The last act, in which Lara has to make it to a tomb and save the day, is actually the least interesting. It’s also very dark, a warning if you’re thinking of seeing this movie in 3D.
Can Warner Bros. “croft” this reboot into a franchise? That’s certainly the plan. Let’s hope the next chapter has a little more life to it.
On The Official LCJ Report Card, “Tomb Raider” gets a C.
Running Time: 118 min.