Tomb Raider review round-up: Alicia Vikander's Lara Croft is 'bland'
Mar 17 2018
Warner Bros. reported Friday that "Tomb Raider" has become its fifth-highest grossing opening day in China, and surpasses by a significant margin all three films in the "Divergent" series and was double the opening of "Lucy" and 6% ahead of "Wonder Woman". Though Lara Croft has been an iconic video-game character for more than two decades, she's best known in film thanks to one of the biggest movie stars in the world, Angelina Jolie.
TombRaider in 4DX at Nu Metro Cornubia includes high-tech motion seats and environmental effects in-cinema, to make moviegoers a part of the action on-screen.
"Tomb Raider", sloppily directed by Roar Uthaug, would not be worth watching without Vikander, who darts, leaps, and pummels her way through this mediocre escapade with a winning fierceness that makes you wish she had paired up with Indiana Jones in his heyday. What Lara goes through gives her the requisite experience to make her more of a badass. Vikander's talent shines through, to the point where it's painfully obvious that she's much, much better than a Lara Croft movie ever could deserve. She travels to a mysterious and secluded island, teaming up with an inebriated boat captain (Daniel Wu) whose father also disappeared. It's a not very subtle hint at the type of grit that will eventually turn Lara into the kind of action heroine audiences might be expecting-but damn, does she endure a lot of struggle on the way.
Early box office results out of the United Kingdom generated $553,000 on 1,004 screens with a 40% box office share of the top five films, 25% ahead of "Red Sparrow". She now wears sensible cargo trousers, and the familiar tank top doesn't seem exploitative without the padding Jolie wore. It's been a year when it's really been wonderful. you know, I've united with so many of my female co-stars and I've made more female friends over the last few months than I've made during my career so far.
Uthaug and cinematographer George Richmond film her pretty much the same way a male action hero would be shot, demonstrating that not objectifying an action heroine isn't exclusively the purview of female filmmakers like Wonder Woman's Patty Jenkins. Instead, she's slumming it as a London bike courier when a meeting with her father's second-in-command (Kristin Scott Thomas) reveals clues that instead lead her to a remote island in the Pacific ocean where her father might hide - but where a corporate stooge (Walton Goggins) gone mad with power definitely resides.
Becoming convinced that Himiko's deadly secret must not fall into the wrong hands, Richard inexplicably decides to seek the undiscovered island of Yamatai to, I don't know, make sure her tomb stays undiscovered somehow. Now in Shadow of the Tomb Raider, it is being billed as "Lara Croft's defining moment" whatever that means.
Presented as an origin story, Tomb Raider rewrites what we learned from the 2001 iteration. I'd say this is suitable for viewers around 12 or 13 and older. The denouement is an open gambit toward a sequel - a gambit of the increasingly ubiquitous and tiresome sort that prevents most franchise films nowadays from committing to telling a story start to finish - pitting Lara against this campaign to "control the supernatural".
Lara and Lu are forced into helping Mathias try and locate the tomb of the evil Queen Himiko.
That having been said, so much of Tomb Raider comes across as tedious paperwork to prepare an eventual franchise that I'm not adverse to seeing continue.