“Tomb Raider” provides an all too familiar adventure
The undying trend of reboots lives on as “Tomb Raider” delivers a fun but generic experience. | Photo Courtesy of vrandfun.com
“Tomb Raider” stands as another addition into the modern genre of mediocre reboots. Alicia Vikander shines as a gritty action star and the film boasts exciting and fast-paced action sequences, but the film does not overcome the tropes of a traditional Hollywood blockbuster.
As many film studios have disregarded creativity for familiarity, the action reboot has nearly established itself as a new genre. As studios try banking on nostalgia, reboots have received varying degrees of acceptance from audiences. Recent films such as “The Mummy,” “Power Rangers”and “Ghostbusters” have all failed to recapture the hearts of fans while films such as “Batman Begins,” “Casino Royale” and “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” have pioneered the modern success of the reboot. Furthermore, a staple of the modern reboot remains the “gritty factor,” where Hollywood produces its reboots as dark and dour under the pretense that slight nuance masks originality.
While gritty reboots may annoyingly flood the box office, “Tomb Raider” returns with the perfect amount of grit and timeliness. As audiences have clamored for more inclusion and diversity in Hollywood, Lara Croft brings another powerful female lead. Recent blockbusters such as “Wonder Woman” and “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” have championed female action stars, and “Tomb Raider” adds to this refreshing movement. Director Roar Uthaug brings Croft back with the exact fortitude and heroism needed from an action star without the overt sexualization of Vikander. While original stories always reign superior, the timeliness and familiarity of “Tomb Raider” proved a certain reboot for studios and fans alike.
FUN ACTION, LITTLE SUBSTANCE
“Tomb Raider” follows the journey of Croft as she seeks her long lost father, portrayed by Dominic West, and uncovers the mysteries of his hidden work. Her adventure takes her to the hidden island of Yamatai where she must save her father and protect the world from certain destruction.
“Tomb Raider” returns without the offensive and disastrous problems of past reboots and serves as a fun time in the theater. The film hits all the marks of the standard blockbuster with exciting action and a strong lead, but encompasses a story with little substance or character development. Of course, a film like “Tomb Raider” should emphasize fun and action, which it does, but the plot proves all too predictable and the dialogue remains all too nonsensical. Perhaps the greatest problem with “Tomb Raider” lies in the fact that it does not strive for innovation. With a basic storyline and forgettable supporting characters, the film treads an all too familiar line of archaeological mystery and adventure not unseen before.
Vikander proves herself as a bonafide action star through her incredible intensity and valor as she takes nothing from those that oppose her. Vikander’s acting prowess shines again as her facial acting proves paramount to her terrible dialogue while her sheer athleticism makes her perfectly capable of executing the elaborate action sequences. While the majority of the supporting cast serves as plot devices rather than actual characters, Walton Goggins stands out as a broken, but forgettable villain. As useless as the supporting characters are, they still provide a greater platform for Vikander to shine.
The action sequences prove the most enjoyable aspect of “Tomb Raider” as Uthaug creatively streamlines action through the plot, progressing the film immensely fast through its two hour runtime. The action enthralls through great practical effects and gripping choreography, making the experience all the more palpable. The mystery takes a back seat to the action but intrigues nonetheless, adding a fun twist in the final act. The film closes with strong action and a painfully obvious sequel set up, through which Croft accepts her destiny as the “Tomb Raider.”
Although the modern reboot has consumed Hollywood, “Tomb Raider” does its best with what it has. Devoid of any real substance, nothing really proves special about this film, but it still provides a fine movie for pure entertainment and a good escape from responsibilities.