Having Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft over Angelina Jolie is a huge plus for this movie over the original movies because she is better in pretty much every way. But perhaps the biggest plus is that there is significantly less CGI shark punching in this movie than in the other ones. Win for the remake, for sure.
Tomb Raider is a reimagining of the original movies based on the video game series. This one follows Lara Croft, a young woman who is struggling following the disappearance of her father, who she discovers was an explorer of sorts who tried to find important artifacts before they fell into the wrong hands. Lara eventually follows in her father’s footsteps to prevent an evil organization named Trinity from obtaining an ancient weapon.
Video game movies are generally pretty terrible, with the original Tomb Raider movies being no exception. This newest installment only changes that slightly. It is by no means terrible, but fails to live up to potential it builds for itself throughout the movie. I found myself enjoying the second half of this movie a whole lot more than the first half. Alicia Vikander is really good and definitely elevated the movie with her performance. There are some really good actions scenes. Some of these felt like a video game cutscene, which works sometimes and doesn’t work other times. The story is decent, with a few twists thrown in there. Some of them you can see coming, but others I personally did not see coming.
The biggest problem with the movie is that it takes way too long for this Tomb Raider movie to Tomb Raider. Seriously, we get a bicycle race/chase scene and a purse snatching parkour chase scene before we even get to what this movie is supposed to be. I understand what their intention was with those scenes, but it doesn’t really work and feels like a waste of time. The effects also aren’t great. There are times when you can literally almost see a green screen. It really took me out of the movie during certain scenes. Walter Goggins’s villain is way over the top and underdeveloped. He’s a good actor, but nothing about his character really works.
Overall, Tomb Raider is a step in the right direction for video game movies. It has potential, but wastes its first hour. It isn’t a movie worth rushing to the theater to see, unless you’re smart enough to have MoviePass. The first half keeps the rating low, but the second half allows me to get Tomb Raider to a 3.25/5.