Review / ‘Tomb Raider’ (M) ** and a half

THIS little actioner is a spin-off from the 2003 fantasy “Lara Croft Tomb Raider” with Angelina Jolie as the heroine.

After watching Alicia Vikander play Lara this time, I couldn’t help conjecturing a scenario in which its four producers sat down with Norwegian director Roar Uthaug to brief writers Geneva Robertson-Dworet and Alastair Siddons. “Write us a screenplay with a feisty heroine confronting impossible dangers from which she escapes by the skin of her teeth, using her wits and occasional help from men she meets along the way.”

The location for this untrammelled recipe for arrant and mostly witless fantasy is the latest in the current passion for hitherto-undiscovered earth-bound civilisations. This time it’s a little island somewhere east of Japan, on which the tomb of an ancient and powerful ruler lies hidden in a cave.

Oscar-winning Vikander (or perhaps one of her six stunt doubles) looks fine as Lara but the character is somewhat beneath her talents. Dominic West is her squillionaire amateur archaeologist dad who for seven years has been hiding on the island from the slave-driving bravos led by the villainous Vogel (Walton Goggins) who are also searching for the tomb.

At all cinemas

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