Every year has at least one. A movie that seems to exist only to kickstart a franchise. A few recent ones that come to mind include 2015’s “Fant4stic,” 2016s “Assassin’s Creed” and 2017’s “The Mummy.” These movies are made with little heart or dedication and try to cash-in on a popular brand at the box office.
Well, it is March of 2018 and we already have our obligatory franchise starting entry. That entry is “Tomb Raider.” An adaptation specifically of the 2013 video game, “Tomb Raider” stars Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft, the heir to the Croft fortune and an adventurer who is haunted by the disappearance and assumed death of her father.
When we first meet up with Croft, the audience is treated to an obligatory part action, part exposition introduction scene which begins with Croft losing a MMA match, and ends with her losing a bike race among co-workers. This scene works to establish a few things. First, it tells us that Croft is talented, intelligent and sought after by many guys. Second, it shows us that she is still troubled by her missing dad. Third, the scene gives the audience a taste of Croft’s knack for adventure.
The issue is, this introduction does little to tell us, the audience, why we should care. It is all downhill from there, as without a vested emotional interest, the rest of the movie just comes across as stale. The action set pieces are drab, the villain is incredibly underdeveloped and while Croft is talented, she isn’t compelling. You know she will make it out of any troubling situation she faces and that she will save everyone else involved.
I blame the lack of stakes, lazy writing, generic plot and phoned in acting for my lack of enjoyment while watching “Tomb Raider.” While I didn’t have high expectations for the movie, I at least expected to see more of an actual movie, not just a commercial for future installments that hopefully will not get made. With this reboot over, we turn our eyes to the forthcoming “Uncharted” and “Call of Duty” movies to maybe rupture the video game curse once and for all, because “Tomb Raider” certainly did not do the job.
Jacob Hales, Features Writer