REVIEW: ‘Tomb Raider’ doesn’t reach its full potential

Tomb Raider Picture 1

Alex Novak

Lara Croft is returning to the silver screen in the brand-new reboot of “Tomb Raider.”

The well-intentioned thriller keeps the audience engaged, but falls short due to its uninspiring plot.

Based on the 2013 reboot of the 1996 video game, the film follows Croft (Alicia Vikander), who unlocks the key to her father’s mysterious past and follows his trail to the remote island of Yamatai to search for the lost tomb of Himiko, an ancient mythical queen of the island said to have power over life and death.

Upon her rocky arrival from their treacherous shipwreck, she is immediately captured into the hands of Trinity, an organization with a mission to harness the power of the tomb and weaponize it.

Many of the action scenes are entertaining and fresh, keeping viewers on the edge of their seats to see what happens next. The various street-fighting scenes and the opening bike chase included in the film are all well put together and original.

At the same time, it can feel bland and slow at times. There are a few holes that it skips over, which do not hurt the plot but do take away from the story’s overall impact.

Moreover, the character development is largely unexpressed and simple — an unsatisfying component of the film.

The emotional supply of Lara’s connection to her father alone — being finally reunited with him and then trying to figure out a way to stop Trinity — is enough to validate the story as intensely performed by Vikander and Dominic West, respectively.

Still, the characters do not carry enough weight to make the viewing experience fulfilling.

The film falls into the action movie trap of lots of thrilling fight scenes, but it doesn’t make up for its lack of story.

Croft’s character shows a likeness to her father as she leads Trinity to Himiko’s tomb. Her bravery and determination make her a character that the audience can easily root for, and it is provided by an excellent delivery from Vikander.

Croft is able to solve the mystery of the tomb in the end following the twists and turns that wait around every corner and propel this film into its intensified conclusion.

With quite a few jump scares scattered throughout and an ultimate adventure, the film tells a compelling story, although it probably includes some things that could have been edited out and kept others in that might have served the story better.

It is not a well-crafted movie, but it definitely leaves audiences wondering where her father’s secretive life will lead her next.

Alex Novak is an entertainment reviewer. Contact him at [email protected].