Tomb Raider (2018)

Tomb Raider
Director: Roar Uthaug
Writer: Geneva Robertson-Dworet, Alastair Siddons
Based on: the video game series
Cast: Alicia Vikander, Dominic West, Walton Goggins, Daniel Wu, Kristin Scott Thomas, Derek Jacobi, Nick Frost
Seen on: 29.3.2018

By birth, Lara Croft (Alicia Vikander) is very rich, but since her adventurer father (Dominic West) disappeared, Lara doesn’t want anything to do with the estate. Instead she makes her money as a bike courier, a job that plays into her adrenaline seeking tendencies. But then Lara gets an elaborate puzzle box that sets her on the path of her father’s last adventure. Even though she goes against his wishes with her decision, she decides to retrace his last known steps and figure out what happened.

My first thought after leaving the cinema, was “well, Tomb Raider is a film I have seen now” and that still pretty much captures the level of excitement and fun the film achieved. But at least it never got really boring.

I didn’t expect much from Tomb Raider, I have to say. I wasn’t even overly excited about Vikander as Lara Croft, although I do like her as an actress. She does a good job here and she’s basically pure muscle which is quite impressive. But I would have liked it if Lara was more massive (but than, that’s my usual wish for action heroines: make them massive). In any case, the best thing about Lara and her characterization was that she worked as a bike courier which proves to be perfect training for her adventures. It’s a fair point if you’ve ever seen couriers at work.

But apart from Vikander, the film still dove under most of my low expectations. Especially in the nonsense/stupidity department. It’s a film where Lara falls into a river, barely manages to pull herself out and then is completely dry or where the villain of the piece confides in Lara that he has spent seven years on an island with nobody to talk to so he barely knows how to talk anymore – only he’s on that island with 10 henchmen, 50 slaves and a satellite phone, so really, what the fuck?

And yet the film doesn’t even manage to be fun with the nonsense it spouts, even though you really can’t take it seriously. It was, unfortunately, too run of the mill for that, too predictable. And the editing in the action scenes was too jumpy, the camera moving to much. I miss the days of clear, strong fight choreographies and steady camera work (I know they still get made today, but every time there’s another shaky cam fight, I die a little).

Thus Tomb Raider turns out mostly underwhelming. It’s not completely bad and there’s always a certain pleasure in watching awesome women kick some ass (although it would have been good if the film had cast a critical look at the colonialism inherent in the archaeology angle), but it just isn’t enough.

Summarizing: meh.

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