Fifteen years after Angelina Jolie last took on the role, Lara Croft gets a fresh face. In Roar Uthaug's Tomb Raider, Swedish Oscar winner Alicia Vikander plays the daughter of a missing adventurer who falls into a world of trouble on a remote Pacific island while trying to trace him. Most critics aren't wowed, but take note that audiences give it a higher score (73% to 50%) at Rotten Tomatoes. Samples:
- Chris Klimek calls it a "crappy" movie. "Nothing in the film is memorable. Not a shot, a line, certainly not one entire scene," he writes at NPR. The first act is the "least yawn-inducing" but still "shaky," he adds. "Inevitably, there's a dull coda that sets up a sequel, but by that point you'll have been vainly searching the frame for the words GAME OVER for at least half an hour."
- "It's not that Tomb Raider is a bust, but there's nothing here we haven't seen before," writes Adam Graham at Detroit News. The promise of an ancient curse wreaking havoc "wasn't any less silly the previous 5,500 times it was used" and the script "feels like the same sort of ancient relic those on the island are trying to excavate," Graham says. Overall, it "doesn't add enough value to the property to justify its existence, Vikander's presence, or your time."
- "Vikander's sheer desire to act the hell out of her underwritten role is impressive" and she delivers "more charisma than the film deserves." The problem is that Tomb Raider focuses on "a derivative archeological adventure story" thorned with "cartoonish villainy" and too little emotion, writes Tina Hassannia at the Globe and Mail. She concludes Tomb Raider "clearly works better as a video game than a movie."
- On the opposite side of the fence: David Edelstein. Left wondering "if critics understand that there are gradations in junk culture," he calls Tomb Raider "a tight, fast, well-made B picture that delivered exactly what it promised." The action is "very good," the chase scenes are "well designed" and there are "no dumb subplots," Edelstein writes at Vulture. To boot, "the tomb being raided is scary, the payoff a happy surprise."
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