“If you don’t sign these corporate papers, Lara, everything your father worked for will be lost,” says Ana Miller (Kristen Scott Thomas), 21-year old Lara’s (Alicia Vikander) sympathetic guardian. “Your father’s gone. You can pick up where he left off.” Lord Richard Croft, wealthy and eccentric owner of a hugely successful London corporation, disappeared four years ago and is presumed dead. “No,” Lara says, “I can’t do that. I’m not that kind of person.” Lara has responsibilities and a job to do — lessons she learned from her beloved father. That’s the setup for this video-game-inspired action adventure.
Can Lara follow clues from her father’s secret journals and find the mysterious tomb of Himiko, a mythical Japanese sorceress? What does Mathias Vogel (Walton Goggins) know about Lara’s father? Who — or what — is the Order of Trinity? For answers, should you want them, see “Tomb Raider.”
Buffed and tough, Oscar-winning Alicia Vikander is Lara Croft, taking over the title role created by Angelina Jolie in two previous films. Daniel Wu is hunky Hong Kong sea captain Lu Ren, who’s also lost his father. Aboard his ship — “Endurance” — he and Lara bond and follow her father’s clues to an isolated island hidden in the Devil’s Sea. But bad guy Mathias Vogel, played by Walton Goggins, is there already. He and his army of mercenaries are under orders from Trinity. “I can’t go home until my work is done,” Mathias says. Dominic West, in flashbacks, is missing adventurer Lord Richard Croft. “All myths have origins in reality,” he believes.
Others in the cast include Kristen Scott Thomas and Derek Jacobi as Ana Miller and Mr. Yaffe, Lara’s London advisors. Tamer Burjaq, Adrian Collins and Keenan Arrison are Trinity mercenaries.
“Tomb Raider,” directed by Roar Uthaug, from a witless script by Geneva Robertson-Dworet and Alastair Siddons, is an attempt to reboot the video-game film franchise which began successfully in 2001, but flopped in 2003 with a big-budget sequel. This one is no better. It’s popcorn entertainment. See it and forget it. Its last hour is an endless, bad and over-blown “Indiana Jones” cliffhanger. “When will this movie be over?” I wrote in my notes.
Rated PG-13 for violence, action and language, “Tomb Raider” runs 118 minutes. Give me back my two hours.
“Tomb Raider’s” Lara Croft
Searches for her father;
A tedious action flick —
Should you go? Don’t bother.