Plot: Although her father has been missing and presumed dead for years, Lara Croft (Alicia Vikander) refuses to sign the papers that finalize his will, even though doing so would grant her a massive inheritance. Instead she holds on to the hope that he is alive and while she struggles to make ends meet, she feels this is the best approach she can take to the situation. Just as she is about to sign the papers, she is given a puzzle box left by her father and once solved, it provides the first clue that reveals her father’s true life’s work and she decides to hold off one last time and go against her father’s last wishes, in an effort to retrace his steps. She learns he journeyed to a remote, nearly impossible to reach island in search of an ancient legend, but can Lara somehow manage to follow his path and unlock the secrets he sought?
Entertainment Value: This reboot of Tomb Raider is based on the video game reboot of Tomb Raider, which delivered a much different vision of Lara and a grittier, though still epic adventure. This movie incorporates a lot of the elements from the game, especially Lara begins her trek to the island, but it also tries to shoehorn in some unrelated threads in hope of giving Lara more depth. The first half or so is a chore to watch and seems like a bad television pilot, but once Lara sets out for adventure, the movie picks up and things feel like Tomb Raider. But for me, if that first half hour was axed in favor of a few brief flashbacks later in the movie, Tomb Raider would be a much better movie. Not much that happens before she hires the ship captain is memorable and could easily have been covered through quick flashbacks. The last hour or so is a lot of fun though, with a number of nice set pieces and Tomb Raider signature moments, with frantic chases, ancient puzzles, and long dormant traps. A lot was made about Alicia Vikander in the lead, but I think she is fine in most scenes, though it is hard to accept her as this tough, rugged woman. But I think she does well and has immense charm, which helps a lot. The rest of the cast is fine, but I wish Walton Goggins had more to do here, as he could have really given us a memorable villain, instead of this mundane one. While it has an insanely slow start and wastes a lot of time on forgettable elements, Tomb Raider offers a fun ride once we’re on the island and that makes it worth a peek.
No nakedness. Lara never parties or indulges in the pleasures of the flesh, nor does the movie include the potential rape vibe of some of the game’s scenes. Everyone here is all business and even minor flirting in shut down, post haste. A little blood, but most of the violence is non graphic or happens off screen. An example is when Lara finds a large splinter embedded in her abdomen, but just as she begins to remove it, the camera shifts and we miss the reveal. The movie has some shoot outs but when the bullets or arrows hit the target, no bloodshed is revealed. This is light, fast style violence, little is shown and it happens in a flash. There is some disease ravaged transformations, but they look rather bland and ineffective, which is a shame. I expected Walton Goggins to be a wild villain here, but he is toned way down and while he gives off a nice vibe of menace, he isn’t much to watch or overly memorable. Lara has some sharp comments at times, but overall, this one is short on memorable or quotable dialogue. No craziness. This one doesn’t veer into wild or out of control elements, sticking with the usual action/adventure approaches.
Overall Insanity: 0/10
The Disc: Tomb Raider looks spectacular on Blu-ray, with a clean and well detailed image that lets the scope of the movie shine. I was dazzled by the fine detail at times, allowing textures to stand out and softness is never a concern. This is how a big, epic movie should look. The extras includes a look at how Lara Croft has evolved, how Alicia Vikander prepared for the strenuous role, how the rapids sequence was filmed, and there’s also a general behind the scenes piece.