Tomb Raider (2018) - USA
Reviewed by Andrew Chan (Film Critics Circle of Australia)
One of the best thing about the latest Tomb Raider reboot is the way our key heroine (played by the wonderful and raw Alicia Vikander) remains rather grounded and extremely human. Whilst Angelina Jolie made the video game heroine as a sex icon, Vikander made her like a strong modern day female character. Teaming with “Into the Badlands” superstar Daniel Wu, the duo venture into the brutal forest of the devil’s island in search of the holy grail and her long lost father. This is an entertaining and non-stop movie experience that reworks those 90s Stallone inspired Rambo experience and edge that with the Mummy series as a cocktail mix.
I also enjoyed further Asian Americans representation with Daniel Wu playing an important supporting role and a character that contains an arc that is not often seen or given to Asian characters. Walton Goggins makes a good villain to hate and Dominic West makes a memorable turn as the long lost father and former executive. However, the real star of the film goes to Vikander and to surpass the gender equality and sex symbolism of Jolie’s character into a modern day and hardened human character, makes her all the more relatable.
All in all, despite all the praise above, the film does take a number of short cuts in the plot line and makes the adventure far too easy and simple than it should have been. When the characters so grounded, the premises remains very much a video game style and the result is a film where the performances overshadowed the quality of the movie. Still, there is a lot to like about director Roar Uthaug’s movie experience and credos for making Lara Croft into a human being and a sequel to look forward to.
I rated it 7.5/10
Director: Roar Uthaug
With: Alicia Vikander, Dominic West, Walton Goggins, Daniel Wu, Kristin Scott Thomas, Derek Jacobi, Nick Frost, Hannah John-Kamen, Antonio Aakeel, Alexandre Willaume, Tamer Burjaq, Adrian Collins, Kennan Arrison.