Tomb Raider Review

Lara Croft and the Last Crusade.

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"Tomb Raider" is dumb. It's just a dumb movie, but it's also pretty fun and fun can go a long way. The biggest thing about this movie is that I don't have a ton to say about it. It has way too much set-up (the first 40-50 minutes are all set-up) and then there is like 20 minutes to the middle of the film. The rest of its two-hour runtime is the raiding of the Tomb which is actually really fun to watch.

The beginning is really just a drag. While it tries to set-up a lot of Lara's problems and conflicts it just isn't able to do it effectively and in a way that is really engaging. But the reason that the less effective parts of this movie are watchable is due to Alicia Vikander's great performance as Lara Croft. She makes Croft charming, likable, and (most importantly) badass. She's physically equipped for the role (she's brandishing abs that are so defined Hugh Jackman would be jealous) and it shows. When she is climbing and fighting she really goes for it and makes it feel authentic. Which helps in a movie like this where there are times in which the CG becomes a tad too unrealistic, that you think the movie might have slipped back into being a video game.

The best part of the film is easily when they go about raiding the tomb. It's pretty much like "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" in that it is a temple with three-ish trials that Lara has to conquer in order to save her father from an evil organization known as Trinity. It is just a dumb fun sequence that I couldn't help but enjoy. But this sequence is followed by easily the worst part of the movie where the film sets up a sequel in such an opaque and clunky way that it made me groan.

But those things are easy to ignore because the movie doesn't ever take itself that seriously. Sure there are some weird dramatic moments that aren't earned or odd story points that have no build-up or payoff, but the film didn't focus on those things enough to make me want to bang my head into a wall. I'd liken this film to the "Power Rangers" reboot that came out last year. Sure it's dumb, but at least it's harmless fun. [C]

Al Pacino Rating:

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