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Tomb Raider


Alicia Vikander has already proven that she can be superb in great films like "Ex Machina" and "The Danish Girl". She's also been the best part of other lesser films like "The Man from U.N.C.L.E". But poor Alicia is really slumming in the formulaic 2018 action remake TOMB RAIDER.

We meet Lara as an idealistic bike delivery girl in London, living on the edge of poverty in a barbed wire surrounded flat, even though she's the heir to the Croft fortune.

To accept the money, she has to sign off on her Father as dead, since he's been missing for seven years.

After realizing her family home may be lost if she doesn't accept her inheritance, she signs the papers and immediately gets a cryptic clue from her missing Father.

It sends her off to Hong Kong in search of the fisherman who last saw her missing Dad, Richard, who's well played by Dominic West (The Wire).

Jungle bound adventures ensue, with Lara battling a slimy bad guy named Mathias, whose on a quest for the same thing her father was searching for.

Luckily for the film, Mathias is played by Walter Goggins (Justified, Vice-Principals, Django Unchained) who brings some reliable slimy villlainy to the proceedings.

There is plenty of mumbo-jumbo exposition about an ancient evil Queen and her burial ground, setting up the type of booby trapped secret tomb that the Indiana Jones films did twenty times better even in their most lazy moments.

Vikander is fine in the part, kicking ass and suffering enough brutal falls and hand-to-hand combat to bring any action hero to their knees. She reportedly put on 12 lbs of muscle for the film and I believe it.

There are some fun set pieces on the side of a waterfall in a long crashed plane and a great final escape from a crumbling lair that's jaw dropping in its scale.

But we've seen it all before, and usually done better.

Daniel Wu has real screen presence as Lu Ren and the Hong Kong settings are terrific but its a disappointing American film debut from Norweigian Director Roar Uthaug, whose 2015 film "The Wave" was a fantastic modern take on a disaster film.

This must be better than the 2001 film version that starred Angelina Jolie as Lara, since I've never made it through more than 15 minutes of that turkey, but that's not exactly strong praise.

Maybe Lara should have just stayed in that cinematic tomb....I'll give it a C.

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