Tomb Raider

Lara Croft, the pistol packing, tomb raiding, adventurer has had a few reboots in the gaming world so it really only seems fitting that she has another go at conquering the Cineplex too, I guess.
It’s oddly refreshing too, as the Angelina Jolie versions left me colder than an underground burial chamber with air con. This incarnation, played by Ex Machina’s Alicia Vikander, is a far more down to earth version, forgoing the oily-thighed, pouty look for a more balanced, less cartoonish female protagonist.

And you what? She works. Stripping down her back story to the very beginning (pre-mansion, pre-rich), our heroine is super capable, intelligent and determined enough to seek out adventure and scrape together cash of her own back. She’s inexperienced, so she hasn’t yet mastered all that gymnastic finesse that mashing the triangle button would yeild back in the PlayStation days, so any daring do she performs feels solid and earned. Plus, a welcome lack of romantic interest means this Lara could very well stand alongside Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman as one of the best portrayals of a female protagonist in an action movie of modern times….
It’s just a shame the movie as a whole is so bland.

Now don’t get me wrong, as yet another edition to that much maligned genre the video game adaptation, it ain’t half bad. Better than most actually. But if never feels at any point that the movie flicks into that much needed forth gear. At numerous times I found myself flicking a look at the bottom right of the screen waiting for a “skip cut scene” legend to pop up. It never did.
The action is perky but basic, the villain (the usually great Walton Goggins) strictly vanilla and why on earth is yet another video game adap blathering on about secret fucking societys? Between Resident Evil and Assassin’s Creed are there any bloody society’s out there that AREN’T secret?!
Eventually the movie rouses itself from it’s over pressed pause button and finally presses play for some actual tomb raiding in the last 20 minutes or so and this bit, booby trapped to the hilt like Temple Of Doom and The Goonies had a blade slicing, floor dropping, murder baby, is a smile inducing testament to how much fun the whole film could have been. But sadly it’s too little too late.

Vikander really does deserve another shot at the character as her performance hits all the right buttons (pun intended), but it does make one wonder, with Jumanji raking in tons of cash and nailing the video game style so completely, is the conventional video game genre on it’s last life?


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