#16UMBC 74 #1UVA 54. This is why I don’t fill out NCAA brackets. Movies sometimes make little sense and can be maddening, but they are more predictable than March Madness. Even Putin knows better!
And maddening is the waste of time (seven months) is took Alicia Vikander to get this set of killer abs which are squandered in this script. Rather than Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, this script should be entitled Raiderette of the Lost Ark, except that it has so little humor and none of Ms. Vikander’s charm. It is not her fault that the part requires her to be in mourning for her father, lost and presumed dead for seven years. She does that so well that it sucks the soul out of this movie. We have all seen this before. The parking lot at AMC West Chester was packed, but those folks were not at this showing.
The movie opens with Lara in London working as a bicycle delivery girl, barely able to make ends meet. Soon, we find out that she is an heiress, if she will only accept her father’s death. A memento her father has left her with his attorney leads Lara to believe that her father may be found on an uninhabited island off Japan. Richard Croft went off to search for the burial site of Himiko, a mythical queen with the power of death merely by touch. Could her father still possibly be alive?
Vikander is believable as an action hero even if some of the stunts defy believability. Dominic West was not a good choice as Richard Croft. And Walter Goggins, so great as Boyd Crowder in Justified, exhibits none of the slick nastiness of his TV character. What a disappointing performance! He played Mathias Vogel, the prime bad guy. It’s hard to have a great movie without a great bad guy. Daniel Wu, as Lu Ren, helps transport Lara to the island. Kristen Scott Thomas, as Ana Miller, acts as a somewhat shadowy “guardian” for Lara. Both Wu and Thomas needed more screen time.
The highlight of this movie is probably a bicycle chase through the streets of London. That’s not a good thing for an action movie based on a video game. This movie cost $94 million to make and opened in China 6% higher than Wonder Woman. Since it has made $54 million so far globally, it may turn a profit. While the end of the movie clearly sets up another episode, it would seem the producers are going to be disappointed in these early domestic returns. Will there be another? Lara seemed finally to snap out of her funk and showed some personality at the very end of this flick. Will it be enough? Follow the money!