As a lapsed filmmaker, it is hard to trash a movie, knowing how much sweat, hard-work and sleepless nights go into the making of any film, good or bad. This year’s Tomb Raider reboot though, starring the young, lovely Alicia Vikander, falls short of the original iterations that starred Angelina Jolie, those past ones having a verve and sassy insouciance (stemming mostly from Jolie’s tongue in cheek performance) that is sadly lacking in this new, dim, woefully boring adaptation.
Roar Uthang’s formulaic adaptation is hard to watch, it is that uninteresting. Meant as an origin story that describes Lara Croft’s (Alicia Vikander) evolution into the highly trained explorer of the beloved video games from where her character originates, the script lacks originality, taking from hackneyed tropes like a missing father figure, a surly child that suffers from a peripatetic parent, and a lost treasure on a hard to reach island.
Lara Croft’s overall charm has always been tied, in addition to her bold and sexy persona, to the extreme charm of Croft Manor, a beautiful English Country house that is rigged out with the latest gadgets to support her roving adventures.
Few of these elements appear in the film aside from redundant flash backs where Lara is remembering her father showing his affection by way of first kissing his fore and middle fingers, and then touching her forehead (a gesture so often repeated, that it will make you want to scream towards the end of the film) in front of Croft Manor.
As Lara sets off to find her father who was last heard of on a small island in the Japanese territories, she takes the help of a fisherman Lu Ren (played with charisma by Daniel Wu) who reluctantly agrees to take her to the island on his beat up boat. Disaster follows along with terrible choices by the evil guys, all of whom are as flat as comic book characters, or video game avatars.
To say that this film is a snooze is to be kind, I found myself often wanting to either doze off or walk out.
Vikander is a talented actress. Her success as a rising star is probably unhindered by this film, which she agreed to do because she was promised a “gritty, realistic” origin story. But unfortunately, this film is a waste of talent and time, a project doomed from the start of its dreary, insipid script.