Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
Want more? Listen to our discussion of 'Tomb Raider' on SWITCHCast
SEARCH RESULTS FOR
We look at 'Fantasia' in a brand new episode of Ink & Paint - and don't forget to subscribe to our podcast!x
review, Tomb Raider, Tomb, Raider, film, movie, latest movies, new movie, movie ratings, current movie reviews, latest films, recent movies, current movies, movie critics, new movie reviews, latest movie reviews, latest movies out, the latest movies, review film, latest cinema releases, Australian reviews, cinema, cinema reviews, Alicia Vikander, Walton Goggins, Dominic West, Daniel Wu, Hannah John-Kamen, Alexandre Willaume-Jantzen, Roar Uthaug, Action, Adventure film rating

TOMB RAIDER

★★★

LACKING ACTION IN FAVOUR OF AN EXTENDED ORIGIN STORY

THEATRICAL REVIEW
LATEST REVIEWS
By Charlie David Page
15th March 2018

What’s old is new again. In this case, the ‘Tomb Raider’ franchise is making a comeback, just 17 years after Angelina Jolie first brought the character to the big screen - that’s barely enough time for it to become vintage. It’s hardly anything new for Hollywood, with every second film out these days either a remake, reimagining, sequel, prequel or spinoff. But does this particular property get the overhaul it deserves?

This time around, we have Alicia Vikander ('The Light Between Oceans', ‘The Danish Girl’, 'Ex Machina') as Lara Croft. Her adventurer father Richard (Dominic West, 'The Square', TV’s 'The Wire') is missing, presumed dead, on a mission to find the tomb of a Japanese queen locked away on a deadly and near-impenetrable island. After following a trail of clues her father left for her, Lara heads to the island with the help of captain Lu Ren (Daniel Wu, basically the only good thing about 'Geostorm', 'Warcraft: The Beginning'). However, an adversary of her father’s, Mathias Vogel (Walton Goggins, 'Maze Runner: The Death Cure', 'Django Unchained', TV’s 'The Shield'), is already on the island, and will do anything to get at the tomb first.

SWITCH: 'TOMB RAIDER' TRAILER 2

This all sounds like pretty interesting stuff. Mark my words, the latter portion is a worthy adventure film. But before we get there, we have to endure some really superfluous plot points and disturbingly bad dialog. This isn’t just cheesy action dialog - this is clunky, retch-inducing writing from Geneva Robertson-Dworet (who will also be partially responsible for the upcoming ‘Captain Marvel’) and Alastair Siddons (‘Trespass Against Us’). Neither of these two have a decent writing credit to their name, and just one feature film between the two of them that’s been released to date. Definitely an odd choice for a reboot of a major franchise.

Lara as a character is also just bland. She’s now just a modern girl in modern London, struggling to make ends meet (yes, despite her large family fortune) and doing everyday girl stuff like riding around on a bike with a fox tail and a leaky bucket of paint attached while 20 guys try to catch her. We get it - she’s multitalented. The character setup is far, far too long for someone we’re already familiar with - and if not, you can get the gist of it very quickly. On the upside, this rendition of Lara isn’t a perfect solider - she’s crafted as a very flawed and very human daughter bravely trying to find out what happened to her dad. She suffers a great deal of injury, she makes mistakes, and when she kills people, boy oh boy, do we feel her regret.

Mark my words, the latter portion is a worthy adventure film. But before we get there, we have to endure some really superfluous plot points and disturbingly bad dialog.

It’s also Vikander’s performance that’s a little questionable here. Lara is super-serious in everything she does, which is partly the script’s fault, and partly the acting. Vikander plays this role straight as an arrow (ironically, one of Lara’s weapons of choice) with a character that could have been a lot of fun. Still, nobody’s treated particularly well: Dominic West comes off somewhere between a pathetic shell of a man and an escaped mental patient, while Walton Goggins’ antagonist is just a bad guy for the sake of being bad. Without a real motivation, he just seems to go around shooting people in the head and blowing things up with no direction or purpose.

It’s a shame that all of this potential with story and cast goes to waste, as there is some genuinely interesting direction in here. Roar Uthaug (‘The Wave’, ‘Escape’) really shines when it comes to the action set pieces, with an overall great combination of psychical and visual effects - the plane/waterfall scene is a spectacularly nail-biting highlight. It’s also a waste of both Vikander and Daniel Wu; for a film that has one of the greatest female action figures at its centre with a non-white character as her offsider, it could have been so much more.

So did we need another ‘Tomb Raider’? The negatives far outweigh the positives in this reboot, with a script and characterisations abysmal enough to make your eyes bleed. If you dare to embark on the long and winding path to the action we’re all waiting for, and you're willing to stick with it until we finally get inside the titular tomb, there’s still nothing in this predictable story that will surprise you. The modern Lara Croft is an improvement, but only marginally. This film needed a stronger team to bring this feisty female’s story to the big screen.

FAST FACTS
RELEASE DATE: 15/03/2018
RUN TIME: 1h 58m
CAST: Alicia Vikander
Walton Goggins
Dominic West
Daniel Wu
Hannah John-Kamen
Alexandre Willaume-Jantzen
DIRECTOR: Roar Uthaug
TombRaiderMovie
TombRaiderMovie
TombRaiderMovie
Want more? Listen to our discussion of 'Tomb Raider' on SWITCHCast 
TOP-RATED REVIEWS
Romantic Road - Falling in love with India, the Rolls Royce and each other
TRENDINGROMANTIC ROADFalling in love with India, the Rolls Royce and each other
Good Girls: Season 2 - It's never been so good to be bad
TRENDINGWIN GOOD GIRLS: SEASON 2It's never been so good to be bad
Agatha Christie’s Marple: Series 1-3 - The classic crime novels come to life
TRENDINGWIN AGATHA CHRISTIE’S MARPLE: SERIES 1-3The classic crime novels come to life
The Personal History of David Copperfield - Charles Dickens' classic reimagined through a comedic lens
TRENDINGWIN THE PERSONAL HISTORY OF DAVID COPPERFIELDCharles Dickens' classic reimagined through a comedic lens
The Personal History of David Copperfield - A rhapsodic delight on taking ownership of our own stories
TRENDINGTHE PERSONAL HISTORY OF DAVID COPPERFIELDA rhapsodic delight on taking ownership of our own stories
Top End Wedding - Outback fantastic
TRENDINGTOP END WEDDINGOutback fantastic
Over the Limit - A real-life psychological thriller
TRENDINGOVER THE LIMITA real-life psychological thriller
xXx: Return Of Xander Cage - The good, the bad and the ugly
TRENDINGxXx: RETURN OF XANDER CAGEThe good, the bad and the ugly
The Violin Player - Sex and strings
TRENDINGTHE VIOLIN PLAYERSex and strings
About A Boy - All grown up 15 years on
TRENDINGABOUT A BOYAll grown up 15 years on
Inseparable Bros - A heartwarming tale about disability and the power of friendship
TRENDINGINSEPARABLE BROSA heartwarming tale about disability and the power of friendship
Beyond The River - An inspirational sporting journey
TRENDINGBEYOND THE RIVERAn inspirational sporting journey
Scheme Birds - A gritty journey to adulthood in Scotland
TRENDINGSCHEME BIRDSA gritty journey to adulthood in Scotland
Tumbbad - Visually rich Hindi horror
TRENDINGTUMBBADVisually rich Hindi horror
Melbourne Documentary Film Festival 2020 - The reviews
TRENDINGMELBOURNE DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL 2020The reviews
Double Lover - Softcore pornography for cinephiles
TRENDINGDOUBLE LOVERSoftcore pornography for cinephiles
Waterloo - An epic recreation of the legendary battle
TRENDINGWATERLOOAn epic recreation of the legendary battle
The Big Trip - Should have stayed at home
TRENDINGTHE BIG TRIPShould have stayed at home
Flying High - Still landing jokes 40 years after take-off
TRENDINGFLYING HIGHStill landing jokes 40 years after take-off
Mr. Jones - A chilling true story
TRENDINGMR. JONESA chilling true story
© 2011 - 2020 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us