Raider re­boot not grip­ping enough

Rotorua Review - - MOVIES -

by the fam­ily bug and finds her­self hir­ing the son of Daddy’s sea­cap­tain to take her in search of that same is­land. From which point, dear reader, I imag­ine you can fill in the rest of the plot of Tomb Raider your­self.

There’s the gang of in­scrutable bad­dies with non­sen­si­cal mo­ti­va­tions. The cheer­ful stereo­types who make up Lara’s al­lies. And be­fore too long, Daddy Croft him­self ap­pears, com­plete with a wig left over from Brave­heart and a re­mark­ably white set of teeth for a man who has been liv­ing on sea­weed in a cave for seven years.

Di­rec­tor Roar ( Roar!) Uthaug has a deft enough way with a dig­i­tal ef­fect or a stunt scene. His call­ing card was the Nor­we­gian tsunami thriller The Wave (Bol­gen), which at least proved he knows his way around the wa­ter­fall and rapids combo that pro­vides a mid-point high­light of the film. Armed with a script that serves mostly as an ex­cuse to have Vikan­der nearly fall off things, Uthaug is per­fectly ad­e­quate at set­ting up the me­chan­ics of the film. But what nei­ther he nor Vikan­der can man­age is to make it in­ter­est­ing.

Af­ter a promis­ing open­ing – a couri­ers’ bike race is the most gen­uinely spec­tac­u­lar se­quence in the en­tire film – Tomb Raider quickly turns into a frus­trat­ingly un­am­bi­tious and lumpen procession of set pieces.

Jolie, Ni­co­las Cage, Har­ri­son Ford and co have all spun gold out of this sort of Fri­day night dross by wink­ing and smirk­ing their way through the plot. Let­ting us know in a hun­dred dif­fer­ent ways that they are in on the joke too.

While Vikan­der may bring it phys­i­cally, she to­tally lacks the chem­istry of a last­ing mati­nee idol. She never makes us laugh. And for a film called Tomb Raider that re­ally is miss­ing the point. – Graeme Tuck­ett

As Tomb Raider’s Lara Croft, Ali­cia Vikan­der is a sinewy, wiry pres­ence on screen.

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