The reviews are out for the new Tomb Raider movie starring Alicia Vikander as computer game heroine Lara Croft – and they’re a bit of a mixed bag.
Variety praised the “convincing human scale” of its “vine-swinging, bow-and-arrow-shooting action” and its star’s “grounded and believable” performance.
Yet Empire called it “disconcertingly dull“, saying its “effort to wipe the slate clean proves a little misguided.”
Out on Friday, Tomb Raider follows two earlier films starring Angelina Jolie.
Directed by Norway’s Roar Uthaug, the new film is an origins story that shares plot elements with a Tomb Raider game released in 2013.
Opening in London, the new film introduces Lara as a bicycle courier whose father, played by Dominic West, went missing seven years earlier.
After discovering a secret cache of papers, she embarks on a quest that takes her to a remote island believed to be the final resting place of a fabled Japanese empress.
The result, writes Entertainment Weekly’s critic, is “an old-fashioned treasure-island adventure tale… anchored by an Oscar-winning actress far more gifted than the story requires.”
Screen Daily’s Fionnuala Halligan agrees that Vikander is the film’s “main asset“, praising the star of 2015 drama The Danish Girl for “conjuring up a gutsy heroine out of thin cyberspace”.
Yet Digital Spy’s Rosie Fletcher is far less complementary, describing Vikander’s “arrogant, selfish, entitled” character as “the worst thing about her own movie”.
The Hollywood Reporter’s Todd McCarthy, meanwhile, takes issue with the film’s “familiar action… derivative story and cardboard supporting characters”.
“Despite integrity in spades, Tomb Raider never unearths gold,” concludes Total Film’s Jamie Graham, who calls the plot “as dusty and cracked as an ancient treasure map.”
The original Tomb Raider game was launched in 1996 by Derby-based company Core Design and went on to become a global phenomenon.
The first film adaptation, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, was released in 2001 and was followed by a sequel two years later.