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Tomb Raider Sucks…Here’s Why!

Subhash K . Jha

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Film: Tomb Raider

Starring: Alicia Vikander, Dominic West

Rating: * ½

  It’s not as though Tomb Raider  is the worst film ever made on this planet.  God knows there  are enough franchise films from Hollywood floating around claiming for a place among the most dreadful cinematic  experiences  of  our lifetime

Tomb Raider  is a sum-total  of many failures. It tries to re-define the myth of the modern warrior queen propagated  by Angeline Jolie many years ago in the Lara Croft films, renewed in the feminine  grace  of Alicia Vikander who goes through  the athletic paces with a selfassured robustness (with no emphasis  on the  bust)  seldom seen   in  female  heroes.

There  is one heartstopping action scene staged on the skeleton of  an abandoned  aircraft  on the top of torrential waterfall  that  is breathtaking  in  its vigour . The rest of the film is so flabby and droopy it makes the stand-out action sequence seem  like the  only reason why this poorly- conceived  gaming actioner was revivified for an audience that has  long moved on.

Tomb Raider sets its action on an island infested with villainous neo-slavedrivers making migrant  workers toil to open up a vault containing the tomb of  a fearsome  goddess.  The hocus-pocus and the mumbojumbo are dressed  up as an emotional father-daughter saga staged in spasms  of  dithering drama  between dad Dominic West(who performs poorly in  the impoverished script) and MsVikander who  bravely  ploughs  through the aridity  of  a godforsaken plot that has no room for real emotions.

The writing  is  blunt and the dialogues compete for flatness with Ms Vikander’s washboard stomach. All this would have been bearable if the action was riveting. The stunts do not have the sustained momentum  that  this reawakened franchise demands. The archvillain  played by Walton Goggins looks like  a cocaine addict  out on  a wild safari  that takes on a biblical journey through bondage  and  brutality.

More is  the pity . Because we need  more female heroes. Interestingly  there is a fleeting Indian character Nitin a grocer in  London who has a Hindu name but whose family looks Pakistani and who has the hots for  Lara Croft and who  says goodbye to Lara with an ‘Alvida’.

Whatever.

There is also a reference  to Patna, the city where I belong  in this global  mess of a film. If only the mapped majesty made room for some spatial  harmony . The plot just meanders from one chimeric  thrill to another like  a  monkey swinging from branch to  branch. Fun to watch  but nothing rewarding about it.

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