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The tomb raider series continues

The remake of a 2001 movie, derived from a British made video game, “Tomb Raider,” directed by Roar Uthaug, failed to meet my expectations of what I had hoped to be an action-packed cinematic experience. Unnecessary scenes that were not further explained as well as a failure to develop main characters created a confusing and mediocre one hour and fifty-eight minutes for me.

The acting in “Tomb Raider” was commendable, with Alicia Vikander in the lead role of Lara Croft, Daniel Wu as Lu Ren, Walton Goggins as Matthias Vogel and Dominic West as Richard Croft. The casting of Vikander helped to capture the character of Lara Croft, a strong-willed and spirited young woman who goes to great lengths to achieve her accomplishments. Vikander’s acting balances out vulnerability and strength, perfectly embodying the reputation Lara Croft upholds. By performing her own stunts in the movie, Vikander shows that the extent of her acting ability is not limited to dramas and romances.

Despite casting a list of superb actors, the film failed to utilize their full potential by insufficiently building off of supporting characters and their roles in the movie. Lu Ren, whom I had hoped would play Croft’s love interest, had a small role in helping Croft through her adventure but never ended up having more than a few short conversations with her. His lack of presence in the film made me question the point of having him involved with the movie at all. Not enough of a back story or details about Ren are provided to create a strong idea of how he could be influential to the screenplay.

The antagonist, Matthias Vogel, played by Walton Goggins, was another character that had a lack of in-depth analysis and history provided. As the villain, a motive behind his actions were never revealed and I was left wondering what aspects of his past caused his behavior. Clearly, Vogel had a history with the Croft family, but details about how he knew Lara or her father were not revealed through flashbacks.

Some scenes left me disappointed because of their lack of relevance. A beginning scene of the movie included a bike race that was centered around Croft, that seemed to be an important and significant event, until I realized that the script would indeed, never reference it again. Another scene which brought Croft into the kitchen of someone I had to assume was a family friend showed a young man’s failure of an attempt to flirt with Croft, an event that does nothing to create an impact in the life of Croft since she does not even notice it, nor an impact in the movie.

Stunts held an enormous role in majority of “Tomb Raider.” Many stunts seemed completely unrealistic. The possibility of surviving the collapse of rubble on top of you after engaging in several rounds of hand-to-hand combat, just days after living through a shipwreck, seems highly unlikely, yet somehow Croft accomplishes just this. Despite being nonsensical, the actions scenes provided entertainment throughout the film, building up anticipation and suspense among audience members.

Even though its showing was subpar, I believe there is hope for the “Tomb Raider” franchise. A twist at the end of the film does an excellent job of preparing potential viewers for a sequel with explanations for unanswered questions from this original movie. I would recommend “Tomb Raider” to someone who is already familiar with its history, because of lack of descriptions and explanations throughout the film.

By Bhalpriya Sandhu, Sports Editor
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