Oscar winner Alicia Vikander braces herself for danger, adventure and raiding tombs as Lara Croft in “Tomb Raider.”
The series has been rebooted to be based on the 2013 Square Enix video game of the same name, offering a more grounded experience. Video game films have been easily dismissed as they often wind up being bad and pale in comparison to the source material. Previously portrayed by Angelina Jolie in the early 2000s, both her films have been deemed passable and guilty pleasures. But with this new storyline, this might be a sign that video game movies are headed in the right direction.
After the disappearance of her father, Richard Croft (Dominic West), Lara discovers a clue that might give insight as to where he was before he vanished. She also discovers a life her father had that wasn’t all business and sees he’s been searching for an ancient tomb on the mysterious island of Yamatai. After being washed ashore, Lara comes face to face with a sinister organization known as Trinity led by Mathias Vogel (Walton Goggins). Vogel plans to use what is in the tomb for his own sinister purposes and Lara must fight to survive to stop Trinity from unleashing an evil upon the world.
Vikander nails the role as Lara Croft, and particularly shines in the action sequences. She has stated she has been a fan of the character for a while and it shows in how she nails every characteristic of Lara in the 2013 video game. Norwegian director Roar Uthaug sets up the action scenes well as viewers can buy what Vikander and the cast are doing in these action sequences and can tell what is happening, including a sequence involving a rusted plane over a waterfall.
The setup for Lara becoming the heroine we all know and love is done well and makes the first part of the film interesting. However, it does offer a supernatural element involving what’s in the tomb that might throw people off who were expecting a realistic film. But the source material have these moments of implausibility that make you scratch your head, wondering how some people can walk away from that. It also hints at a possible sequel toward the end, and fans of the game will be treated to a little Easter egg before the credits roll.
The new “Tomb Raider” may not be anything groundbreaking, but it is definitely the better translation from video game to film with an actress who nails the role, making this worth seeing.