Lara Croft is the most famous female video character of all time, so it is not really surprising that producers were more than willing to reboot the popular film version which has proven to be box office gold!
Enter Alicia Vikander, the new Lara Croft in 2018's Tomb Raider, stepping into Angelina Jolie's shoes who has previously refused to do a third movie. Is Vikander a worthy succesor? Well, first of all let us remember that even though the first two Tomb Raider films were financially succesfull they weren't exactly critical darlings so the bar for that is pretty low. On that note, yes, she is serviceable and has toned down the cartoonish aspects of Lara Croft.
For one thing, they have chosen to ground the video game icon, make her more realistic in a sense. They also chose to make this more of an origins story. Lara is not yet the lean mean fighting machine that she is going to be. Granted she has skills, but it is not quite there yet as you would see in an opening box fight scene.
The catalyst though is the same. Her father goes missing and she is prompted to find him by way of a mysterious object, and she is off to her first adventure. The problem is, her journey is rather dull. Yes, there are action sequences and mysteries that are solved, but it drags on. Yes, Vikander's Croft is understandably a neophyte at this she is not supposed to be a bad-ass, but does she have to be boring at certain points?
Daniel Wu, who plays Lara's partner Lu Ren, is more exciting. That is saying a lot he isn't all that interesting either. The twists and turns that are supposed to be shocking and draw you in to the story are delivered in such an underwhelming way, many of the background characters are one dimensional set pieces, and the dialouge is terrible.
It is kind of sad because you can really see the potential in Vikander in this movie. Like her character, she is at the cusp of greatness, but unlike Lara she doesn't get there.
There were moments that I was waiting for something to happen and you could really feel that something is being set up, but in the end you just go, "that's it?" To think that this movie may actually be the start of a cinematic universe based on video game characters. Don't bother watching this one, it's not really worth the ticket.
Tomb Raider opens in cinemas in the US on March 16.