Directed by Roar Uthaug
by Rosalie Kicks, Old Sport
Tomb Raider should be fun. Instead, it is two minutes shy of a two-hour long eye roll, filled with shoddy effects, a Lifetime-esque story line about dads, and a sprinkling of cheesy zingers. From the moment the projector casts that first frame on the screen, you will be posing the same question that is later professed by The Raider's papa: "What in the blazes are you doing here?"
A movie based on a video game. Why Hollywood continues to try to make this whole thing happen is bewildering. However, I guess when you have a star like Alicia Vikander involved, who is going to halt production? Alicia Vikander is the only thing this messy and confused adaptation has going for it. When she finally does shows up on the screen...which is approximately five to seven minutes in, because first we have to be introduced to one of the main stars, the infamous tape recorder...she kicks ass. She was clearly hitting the gym and drinking a bunch of kale smoothies in preparation for the role of Lara Croft. She looks the part and definitely showed up to set ready to work. Unfortunately, the rest of the movie did not. In this messy slog of a script, Lara Croft ends up buried.
The entire plot is set into motion by a tape recorder. A voice recording, informing us about a "speck" on a map that needed to be explored! From there we are introduced to Lara. She is living the city life, scraping by doing odd jobs such as being a bike courier and spending her free time in the boxing ring. A no non-sense scrappy kind of gal. Probably one of the most notable scenes is watching Lara zip around on her bike through the city, reminiscent of Premium Rush. We quickly learn this way of living is all just a smokescreen. Guys, Lara is rich. Like, Scrooge McDuck rich. All she has to do is sign some papers acknowledging her old man is dead and boom-Money. Although, if the papers were signed there would not be a film and she would have to finally come to terms with her dead dad and the movie would end and we would be sad...or would we?
Luckily for us, instead of signing the papers she decides to go on a scavenger hunt to a faraway island to find her missing dad. Along the way, she meets another guy who is also looking for his dad! With a simple exchange of boot cash - yes! that is money from a boot - Lara and her new found friend travel the mighty sea in search of their dear old dads. The next chunk of the film is filled with many action sequences, the kind of which you have seen before. One noteworthy difference is that they are being performed by a lady. A lady that apparently did her own stunts, according to IMDB. Vikander should be praised for her efforts. It is unfortunate she found herself on this island though, with this story.
When she finally does get to the tomb you really start tapping your toe and checking your watch. This unsettling feeling of absolute boredom and one question looping through your mind: Why didn't she just sign those damn papers? But the movie keeps going. Like the little engine that could, it just won't ever stop. The story just does not want to end even if it has nothing else to show you. There's very little you shall find surprising other than maybe that time when Nick Frost shows up. There is a shimmer of hope when he graces the screen. You will wish that maybe he will take the film off the rails and somehow turn it around. Give us that Hot Fuzz sequel we always wanted but instead this time, his partner is Lara Croft. That, my friends is wishful thinking. Instead, we go on a quest to find some dads and raid some tombs.