Tomb Raider: Alicia Vikander tries hard but fails to salvage the latest Tomb Raider film
Movie Review by Annie Cynthia (Rocheston Certified Movie Critic)
As the new Lara Croft, Alicia Vikander fights hard to be the typical ‘bad-ass Croft’ that has been synonymous with Angelina Jolie for a while now. However, her character in the film remains insipid, confused and appears like vulnerable warrior, traits that one would not associate with Lara Croft. Nevertheless, Vikander’s delicate features, impressive stunts and natural performance makes the film worth a watch.
The film has nothing new to offer in terms of story. It is a coming of age, action-adventure tale where the protagonist is an archeologist. She is seen carrying guns, is a polyglot and ventures bravely into dangerous terrains to save the world. The story begins with Lara Croft (Alicia Vikander), a devil-may-care girl, who finds it difficult to accept her father’s mysterious disappearance that had taken place when she was a young girl. Cut to the present, her father’s business associate, Ana Miller (Kristin Scott Thomas) informs her that she would lose the family home if she doesn’t accept her father’s inheritance. Lara reluctantly agrees to take ownership of the house.
Upon entering the house, Lara finds Richard’s secret chamber and a pre-recorded message for her from her father about mythical Queen, Himiko of Yamatai. Despite her father’s warning of steering clear from investigating his disappearance, she sets off to investigate. On her way, Lara befriends Lu Ren and they travel together in his ship to the island of doom located at the center of the Devil’s Sea, far off Japan’s coast. Here, they’re shipwrecked and captured by the vicious Mathias Vogel (Walton Goggins) leading the expedition to find Himiko, funded by a phantom group called Trinity. In this perilous quest, Lara faces the wrath of the ruthless waters, harsh landscapes and brutal men while both her struggle for survival and her love for adventure are threatened.
Vikander’s Croft appears delicate as compared to Jolie. However, her impressive stunts and agile body language more than makes up for it . One cannot help but notice the dedication showed by Vikander for getting into the skin of her character. She is beautiful in her own way, although a dire contrast to Jolie’s tougher Croft, she manages to impress in certain places. West as Lord Richard Croft is sincere in his performance and one can actually feel the affection between the father and daughter in certain flashback scenes.Goggin’s Vogel is ruthless, hostile and selfish. Playing his part perfectly, he makes the audience hate him from the first scene. Kristin Scott Thomas’s Ana is quite likeable character on screen but sadly doesn’t get much scope to perform.
The film extensively relies on VFX for many sequences. One sequence where the ship collapses and Vikander leaps onto the seabed, is magnificent with Tom Holkenborg’s haunting background score. The color palette shifts between dull and bright tones contrasting the forests and the dark caverns in the background. Watch out for this scene! However, you can make out the heavy use of VFX throughout the film and that takes away the impact of the scenes. Despite genuine acting performances, this version of Tomb Raider is a let-down owing to a familiar story premise and the heavy reliance on VFX.