K E Y P O I N T S
- ‘Tomb Raider’ serves as a reboot of the popular gaming series, with Oscar winner Alicia Vikander in the lead role of Lara Croft, taking over from Angelina Jolie
- The events of the film are based on the 2013 game of the same name, which was itself a revival of the ‘Tomb Raider’ series
- Also among the supporting cast are Dominic West, Daniel Wu, Kristin Scott Thomas and Walton Goggins, with Derek Jacobi and Nick Frost in small roles
- Norwegian director Roar Uthuag helmed the film, in his most high-profile directing gig to date
- The film sees Lara Croft travelling across the globe to try and decipher the mystery surrounding her father’s disappearance
S N A P V E R D I C T
Following the mammoth success of ‘Wonder Woman’ and TV shows like ‘Supergirl’ and ‘Jessica Jones’, it’s understandable that film execs would want to ride the wave and finally put more women at the forefront of their action movies. And which existing women in popular culture are more badass than Lara Croft?
In the 1990s, Lara made her debut as the protagonist in the ‘Tomb Raider’ game series, standing out as a female character carrying a successful franchise in the heavily male-dominated gaming industry, and although her unattainable physical proportions haven’t always made her the favourite of feminist critics, she has been hailed as an emblem of female strength and survival by others.
A 2018 reboot of the ‘Tomb Raider’ film series just made sense, especially with Alicia Vikander in the lead role, who won an Oscar for her performance in ‘The Danish Girl’ and cut her teeth with supporting roles in the action world in ‘The Man From U.N.C.L.E.’ and ‘Jason Bourne’.
While I’ll admit that my knowledge of Lara Croft doesn’t extend far past locking the butler in the freezer and those old Lucozade adverts, I went into ‘Tomb Raider’ fully ready to get behind Lara Croft and welcome a new film heroine into my life. Instead, I left… well, a bit bored really.
Describing the events of ‘Tomb Raider’, this boredom probably sounds tough to imagine. In the space of two hours, the film crams in high-speed chases, a chaotic scene at sea, grisly showdowns and even attempts at comedy with a brief scene starring Nick Frost.
But that’s just it, the film feels at times like a string of events rather than a film. One thing after another seems to just happen with little time for reflection, and while ‘Tomb Raider’ is already on the long side at two hours, it still feels like it attempts too much in the time they had. It would probably have been better to do half as much, twice as well.
Part of the problem here is a lack of character development. While a lot of time is spent explaining Lara’s backstory, considerably less is spent establishing her as a character, meaning that no matter how many times she faced peril and disaster, Lara Croft was actually a tough character to root for, simply because you still knew so little about her as a person by the end of the film.
B E S T L I N E S
After being assured that some men “like dangerous women”:
Some men are foolish." Lara Croft
Lara’s parting words to Mathias Vogel:
You messed with the wrong family."
T A K E H O M E M E S S A G E
If you’re an action fan who favours shoot-em-ups and explosions over monologues and nuanced conversations, ‘Tomb Raider’ will fit the bill nicely.
But given the potential a ‘Tomb Raider’ reboot with Alicia Vikander in the lead role had, Lara Croft deserves so much better than what we ended up with.