Directed by Roar Uthaug and starring Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft, Tomb Raider is the latest big screen adventure for the popular gaming series. The movie – which opens in US and UK cinemas tomorrow – is a reboot of the popular franchise and is based on the 2013 game of the same name (not a sequel to the Angelina Jolie films).
But is it any good?
Well, before I reveal snippets from the critics opinions, I must let you know that the review embargo on the movie has only just been lifted – mere hours before the film is due in cinemas. This is never a particularly good sign.
Anyway, here’s what the critics have said about Tomb Raider:
- Susana Polo of Polygon, said: “After years of attempts, no one expects a video game movie to be high cinema. But if Tomb Raider wasn’t going to be great, I had at least held out hope that it would be entertaining. The allowance I was determined to give it was, unfortunately, not quite returned, and I left the theater wondering how soon I could rewatch Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.”
- Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian awarded Tomb Raider two stars (out of five), calling Lara Croft “a badass bore”. He said: “The rebooted action heroine channels the spirit of Indiana Jones – and creepy daddy issues – in a dull, derivative romp.”
- John Nugent of Empire also awarded Tomb Raider two stars (out of five) and said: “It’s a different kind of Tomb Raider, certainly. But for an adventure film, it’s disconcertingly dull.”
- A two-star review also came from Rosie Fletcher of Digital Spy, who said: “At just under two hours Tomb Raider isn’t long for a blockbuster but the clunky, exposition-heavy dialogue, flimsy characterisation and lack of any real peril means even this modest run time drags. Fans of the rebooted game might get a kick out of the gritty style, visceral action and Vikander’s physical performance but as for breaking the curse of the video-game movie – that’s one code that still hasn’t been cracked.”
- Scott Mendelson of Forbes, was a bit more complementary, offering praise for the lead star. He said: “Alicia Vikander’s Lara Croft deserves a better movie. The good news is that the Oscar-winning actress offers an entertaining and occasionally devilish take on the famed video game heroine, on variation that can stand side-by-side with Jolie’s two attempts.” However, he added: “The bad news is that the film is explicitly in “don’t screw it up” mode, going through the motions and offering somewhat generic action heroics and run-of-the-mill perils.”
- And finally, Richard Trenholm of CNET, said: “This latest crack at “Tomb Raider” sags with an overstretched first hour, tacked-on action scenes and lackadaisical piracy from better movies. If they do make a sequel, it really needs to level up.”
So, there we are – it doesn’t look like Tomb Raider has escaped the video game to movie curse. Will you still be off to see Tomb Raider when it opens this weekend? Let me know your thoughts.
For more review round-ups of recent releases, check out past editions of The Great Stampede which have focused on Ready Player One, Love, Simon, A Wrinkle in Time, Annihilation, The Shape of Water and Black Panther.