Mixed reviews arrive for new Tomb Raider reboot

Ben Arnold
Contributor
Alicia Vikander in Tomb Raider (Credit: Graham Bartholomew/Warner Bros. Pictures via AP)

Lara Croft is back on screens in the new reboot of Tomb Raider, but judging by the mixed reviews, Alicia Vikander hasn’t convinced all lovers of the classic video game.

The Ex Machina star has picked up the mantle left behind by Angelina Jolie in back in 2003, with the spectacularly-named Norwegian director Roar Uthaug behind the camera.

Telling an origin story, Vikander’s Croft is wayward and reckless until she is given the key to her late father’s office, whereupon she discovers his archaeological findings and a mystery to unravel.

But sadly, it’s left a fair few critics unconvinced.

“It’s a different kind of Tomb Raider, certainly. But for an adventure film, it’s disconcertingly dull,” reckons Empire in a two-star notice.

“Few actors could enliven dialogue this dreary. Come the familiar booby-trapped final curtain, Lara inevitably saves the day and lifts the curse; the video-game-to-film adaptation curse, meanwhile, remains to fight another day.”

The Washington Post adds: “This Lara is spunky and fearless, with a mind of her own. That’s nice to see, but what does it matter in a movie that’s dull when it’s not inexplicable, and is riddled with bad dialogue and worse special effects?”

The Wrap writes: “Such a uniquely interesting character deserves more than a run-of-the-mill action franchise, but nearly 40 years after Raiders of the Lost Ark, we’re still getting pits and spikes, spiders and snakes.”


While The Guardian noted: “In the course of all this, Lara will undergo all sorts of Indiana Jones-esque challenges and ordeals, a borrowing so casual and widespread that it’s easy to forget that it is actually derivative.

“There is hardly a stone surface anywhere in the film that will not grindingly reveal a trapdoor, a recessed panel, or a large metal spike – and all with a certain mysterious engineering that provides for a considerable amount of movement without a power source, in the much-loved and time-honoured manner. And throughout Vikander maintains a kind of serene evenness of manner. Blandness is Lara’s theme.”

Some quite enjoyed it, mind you.

“The film may be based on a video game but we could be back in the world of Ray Harryhausen B-movie matinee adventures of the 1960s and 1970s,” writes The Independent.

Adds The Daily Telegraph: “More than the sets or spectacle, Vikander pulls you into her picture, as if we’ve signed up for a special edition of the game where Lara Croft has only one life to spare, one go to get it right.”

Also starring Walton Goggins, Kristin Scott Thomas, Derek Jacobi, Nick Frost and Dominic West, it’s out across the UK from March 16.

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