Caught Tomb Raider on demand a couple weeks ago and after having done so, I’m quite thankful I didn’t waste 15 bucks on this turkey in the theater. My god, it’s just so goddamn bland. I had to look it up on Wikipedia to remind myself whatever the hell the plot was about. I couldn’t remember, and it’s been like a week and a half. It’s pretty clear Hollywood still hasn’t learned its lesson from garbage like Rob Zombie’s Halloween remake/origin story, or The Amazing Spider-man reboot that came out a mere 5 years after Raimi’s Spider-man 3 and revisits the very same well-worn radioactive spider material everyone on the planet is already 100% aware of, not to mention the king mother of stupid and unnecessary origin stories (that even has the word in the title), X-Men Origins: Wolverine (with specific reference to one Wade Wilson, aka, Deadpool). This entry on the endless Hollywood reboot train finds Laura Croft a bicycle messenger mostly oblivious to the shenanigans of her rich, globe-trotting adventurer father (I should mention she is unaware of his latest exploits because she thinks he’s dead – spoiler alert: he’s not). This is the somewhat naive version of her pre-dating the video game and film versions audiences are already well familiar with. We see her fight training, for no other reason than we know Laura Croft should know how to fight (even though she’s a bicycle messenger). We see that’s she’s handy with a bow and arrow because we know Laura Croft should be handy with a bow and arrow (even though she’s a bicycle messenger… in a city… where a bow and arrow are pretty goddamn moot). You see where I’m going with this? Tomb Raider has got to be the laziest origin story I’ve ever seen. We are not shown how she acquired all these various skills, because one would assume she had acquired all these skills through the experiences of being the Laura Croft we all know, the tomb raiding ass-kicking Laura Croft. Instead we’re merely shown she has all these skills… before becoming the Laura Croft we all know. If it sounds stupid, it’s because it is stupid. It’s really really stupid. It’s so stupid that I’m going to spare you further ruminations on the topic of Laura Croft becoming a tomb raider. Nobody cares. Trust me. Instead, let’s have a brief discussion regarding Dominic West.
Dominic West is such an extraordinarily odd actor. He kinda came out of nowhere in The Wire, having had mostly tiny roles in a slew of little-seen films, most notably as a slimy shitbag Spartan statesman in 300, which wasn’t really a notable role at all. And then, The Wire. In which, he is absolutely fantastic. A career-making performance in a career-making role. And then nothing but garbage after. And not just garbage, but garbage he’s terrible in. See exhibit A: Punisher: War Zone. Jesus Christ, I haven’t heard a New York accent that bad since Steven Seagal’s cartoonish Brooklyn accent in Out For Justice. Seriously, just sit back and take in this fucking malarky. My god. I mean, seriously, WTF? (I will admit, I love Out for Justice. It’s like a a bunch of film students in Canada made a movie that takes place in Brooklyn after watching My Cousin Vinny). But back to Dominic West. Post The Wire: Centurion, From Time to Time, Johnny English Reborn, The Forgotten, Words of the Blitz, John Carter, Pride, Testament to Youth, and of course, Tomb Raider (in which he plays Laura Croft’s father, the ridiculously named, Lord Richard James Croft, Ph.D). ‘Nuff said.
Tomb Raider is terrible. In case there was any ambiguity in the above paragraphs. The only interesting thing about this inert turd is the colossal Photoshop fail when designing the movie poster that made Alicia Vikander look like a giraffe (or Bojack Horseman). I am reminded of the Netflix banner poster for The Babysitter.
p.s. The Affair? Never heard of it.