Time to raid some tombs. Before Angelina Jolie was rolling around in the dirt battling mythic villains, the public saw Lara Croft as ones and zeroes. Ergo, a digital creation. If pushed, she could rise to any occasion. Thus, the enduring fan appeal.
For the 2018 picture, casting Alicia Vikander was perhaps atypical. A more alluring name might be Rooney Mara. Mind you, the latter’s eyes could cause spiders to dance upon glass, even if her smile wouldn’t warm a bowl of soup. Therefore, it’s a testament to casting director Susie Figgis and her strategic placement of personality that Vikander was allowed to box.
Elsewhere, the plot for Tomb Raider sketches in faint watermarks of interest, including travel, personal loss and embracing inner purpose. In other words, hardly the next Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Nevertheless, the spectacle plays out organically. Less a glib reminder to smile and say a few catchphrases, Vikander belongs in this universe. While traversing slippery or unstable terrain, her agony can be heard and felt by the audience. As such, she reveals personal fragility.
Up to the standards befitting a heinous shadow, Walton Goggins has proven that he’s a character actor who can shine in small doses. Even the specification Mathias Vogel offers the chance to be fiendish and charming. Also, he doesn’t rely on a sidearm to enforce his wretched plans. One look into those eyes should convince you he’s Machiavellian to the nth degree.
However, an examination into Jason Graves’ captivating video game score makes Tom Holkenborg's contribution seem minor. Ultimately, Graves’ indelible main theme yearns for inclusion in the final sound mix. I wanted it there, and not hearing a note marks the singular fault behind Tomb Raider.
Most admirable from this particular Tomb Raider was the delivery of special effects. Evidently, the forests and haze of natural illumination convey ample verisimilitude. It’s the difference between a set-piece that wows and one that merges with your subconscious.
(Released by Warner Bros. and rated "PG-13" for sequences of violence and action, and for some language.)