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‘Tomb Raider’ provides a nice ride, Film Fans say

March 22, 2018 GMT

EDITOR’S NOTE: Film Fans features local residents reviewing “Tomb Raider.” To be a film fan, email features@gwinnettdailypost.com.

Tim Weekley, Suwanee

3 out of 4 stars

Pass

Very good cinematography and action scenes throughout the film; very good acting all around; like last week’s “A Wrinkle of Time,” this film features a strong father-daughter relationship.

Fail

Little lack of character development by main protagonist; choppy film editing at times which led to abrupt shifts in action; screenplay that is very derivative of other classic adventure films.

Who delivered a standout performance, and why?

Swedish actress Alicia Vikander is quite buff and shows some pretty mean MMA and acrobatic skills early and frequently throughout “Tomb Raider.” The film is a reboot of the Lara Croft series of the early 2000s starring Angelina Jolie. Vikander captures attention on screen and does well with her lines, but I think the scripting and direction don’t help her much in this flick. Dominic West (TV’s “The Affair”) is very good as presumed-dead dad Lord Richard Croft, but Walton Goggins (TV’s “Vice Principals”) is not terribly sinister as baddie Mathias Vogel.

Fans of what genre would most enjoy this movie?

“Tomb Raider” draws heavily on classic adventure films like “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and “King Kong,” so much so that it feels like a close remake of either of those films. “Tomb Raider” plays it straight with only very small doses of very dry, subtle humor vs. the wink-wink snarkiness that was pervasive in the earlier “Lara Croft” flicks, and it doesn’t have the campy, swashbuckling, fun feel of “Raiders.” Nonetheless, it’s a very decent popcorn-muncher.

Go see it in theaters or wait for the Blu-ray?

“Tomb Raider” is shot on such an epic scale that it deserves a silver screen viewing, especially if you want to do so at matinee prices. Otherwise, you probably could just catch this one on Netflix or Blu-ray.

What is your overall impression?

The first 20 minutes of “Tomb Raider” really did a good job of setting up Lara Croft’s character as a spoiled, underachieving, rich girl couriering meals around East London in the aftermath of her dad’s disappearance seven years earlier (I told you this flick was similar to “A Wrinkle in Time”). Once she gets wind of the nature of dad’s secret adventuring, Lara sets off on a brisk and harrowing odyssey to locate him. The trouble with “Tomb Raider” is that Lara’s character development was lacking at times. Yes, “Tomb Raider” is wildly adventurous much of the time, but it also lacks a certain amount of cohesion and overall direction. The film sets itself up nicely for a sequel, which hopefully will improve on the formula.

Alfred Richner, Duluth

3 out of 4 stars

Pass

The movie is almost a complete nonstop action film. It is a total reboot of the “Tomb Raider” franchise and sets the stage for the next film. CGI was flawless and the settings reminded me of the island where “King Kong” was last seen.

Fail

The flatness of the characters other than Lara Croft stood out. But what do you expect from a movie that flashed through my eyes so quickly due to an excellent tempo?

Who delivered a standout performance, and why?

Alicia Vikander played Lara Croft, and it was a much more likeable character than Angelina Jolie’s in the prior “Tomb Raider” movies. The story played out in such a way to make the audience like Lara through vignettes from her childhood displaying the father-daughter relationship (or lack thereof). Her job as a food delivery person depicts a deeply, hardcore broke millennial living in London. The storyline sets things up to make the story interesting and enjoyable.

Fans of what genre would most enjoy this movie?

Anyone who enjoyed the “Raiders of the Lost Ark” movies would enjoy this. Yes, it is formulaic, but they got the recipe right.

Go see it in theaters or wait for the Blu-ray?

It is a good movie to see in a large screen (maybe I should have splurged for IMAX or 3-D). It is not a must-see movie, so it is a good bet for a rainy day when it shows up for home rental.

What is your overall impression?

It’s a quintessential summer blockbuster, but in March? I was surprised that the movie made time disappear so quickly. Most audiences will enjoy the afternoon or evening watching this movie and will be all set up for the upcoming episode that was hinted at in the end of this one. Sign me up for the next edition.