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Blu-ray Review: Tomb Raider

June 12, 2018

By John Corrado

★★½ (out of 4)

Seven years after losing her father (Dominic West), Lara Croft (Alicia Vikander) discovers the many puzzles that he left behind in his work as an archaeologist, and sets out to solve the mystery behind his disappearance.

Teaming up with Lu Ren (Daniel Wu), who is captaining his own father’s ship, Lara travels to an island off the coast of Japan in search of the tomb of the mythical Queen Himiko, but finds herself in direct conflict with the brutal Mathias Vogel (Walton Goggins) and his team of mercenaries, who are also trying to uncover the tomb.

Lara Croft first made her debut in a series of video games that started over two decades ago, and Tomb Raider serves as a new take on the classic character.  Because I have never played the games, and I admittedly also haven’t seen the original movies starring Angelina Jolie that came out in the early 2000s, I don’t really have anything to compare this new version to.  But taken on its own terms, Tomb Raider is an enjoyable enough action adventure that is fine for what it is.

No, it’s not a great film – as is probably to be expected from a video game adaptation, the characters are not that well fleshed out, the plot sort of jumps around, and the dialogue is often wooden – but it’s also not a bad one, either.  Director Roar Uthaug competently directs the film, staging some decent set-pieces, and it’s carried by a fine performance from Alicia Vikander, who delivers a more grounded and realistic take on Lara Croft, as opposed to the more sexed up portrayals of the character in the past.

While the film often comes across as a bargain basement version of Indiana Jones, I can’t say that I minded watching it.  If you are in the mood for this sort of thing, and all that you’re looking for is two hours of mindless entertainment, then Tomb Raider gets the job done just well enough.

The Blu-ray also includes the four featurettes Tomb Raider: Uncovered, Croft Training, Breaking Down the Rapids, and Lara Croft: Evolution of An Icon.

Tomb Raider is a Warner Bros. Home Entertainment release.  It’s 118 minutes and rated PG.

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