TOMB RAIDER (2018) 16


“Tomb Raider” bares a lot in common with the 2013 video game reboot. The film also tries to mine the video game legacy and streamline the experience for the theater full of normies. So, what’s the big takeaway? For as much as the film gets Lara Croft right and let’s Alicia Vikander kill in the role, nothing else hangs together. But, it’s not like the video game reboot clearly defined most of the supporting cast.

But, the game at least let those characters serve a purpose. Between Kristin Scott Thomas and Daniel Wu feeling like living checkpoints, nothing quite matters. Even Walt Goggins as Matthias twirls a moustache through most of his scenes. All the while, it just takes away from Lara’s journey from heiress to Tomb Raider. The cut scenes become film set pieces in a lush and exciting way. But, those moments are too far and few between for my tastes.

What makes the film suffer is the 15-20% worth of narrative changes that tries to fix story points that weren’t broken. Yeah, I get changing the film’s hidden treasure into a tool that the bad guy can use provides fodder for a continued film franchise. It’s just to make that work, it removes the mystery of the video game while trying to keep the trappings. Plus, it turns a rather interesting British actress into one of the worst knock-off Bond villains in history.

I don’t want to spoil the film for the average viewer, but it’s time to start plotting and planning narratives. So many genre films try to make decisions by committee and figure out what works for target audiences. The women are satisfied because Lara Croft is empowered and the main heroic narrative is female driven. That’s great, but to make that appealing…the film steps into a ton of logic traps. Does she really need parental guidance to finally become something that matters?

Stick in your seats for a bonus scene that doesn’t get Marvel buried in the credits. It’s great for fan service, but it gets Nick Frost on camera again.


  • 1 hr and 58 mins
  • PG-13
  • Warner Brothers


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