If you’ve seen Jolie’s two previous adaptations, you’ve probably already got a general gist of the character, but this film sets out to retell and redefine her origin story. Lara Craft (now played by Alicia Vikander) left her life of wealth behind after the sudden disappearance and presumed death of her father, Richard Croft (Dominic West). But when forced to sign acceptance of his will, Lara receives a clue, one that could provide closure on where her father vanished. She teams up with Lu Ren (Daniel Wu) and travels across the ocean, following a paper trail that leads her to a mysterious tomb with hidden ties to her father’s past.
Vikander’s Lara Croft finds herself battling against the villainous Mathias Vogel (Walton Goggins). As an actor, Goggins continues to impress. His knack for dark, intimidating characters that you’re never sure if you can trust or not continues. It’s just a shame that the character written for him is severely underdeveloped. You don’t get an understanding of his reasoning or determination, and all of his lines are force-fed generic bad guy lines you’ve heard in every single subpar action flick. Goggins does his best to make the material work, and he has the basics for what could be a fascinating villain, but they never explore anything outside of his inherent evilness.
Some of the action sequences during these first two acts sound exciting on paper, some even taken straight out of the games, but when translated and executed on the big screen, they don’t work as well. Despite having the single greatest name I’ve ever heard, director Roar Uthag enlists a fast-cutting, multi-shot style that I absolutely despise. Sure, it’s not Taken 3 levels of bad, but it’s all very mind numbing, and the visual effects look truly awful. When you can see the green outline surrounding each character in literally every action set piece, you know you need a little more time spent in post-production.
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