The 1st “Tomb Raider” game was released in 1996 followed by over 15 sequels, spin-offs and remakes (none of which I have played).
It didn’t take long for Hollywood to give it the big screen treatment, with Angelina Jolie in 2001. Jolie nearly matched the title character’s looks and agility, while her 2 stints did well at the box office it wasn’t enough to impress the critics. The main consensus being they strayed away from the source material. I for one enjoyed both of Joie’s “Tomb Raider” films kind of giving me a female version of “Indiana Jones”.
This “Tomb Raider” apparently sticks more to the source material, acts as a reboot. Alicia Vikander is now the 2nd Oscar winner to take on the role of Lara Croft. This version gives us more death defying traps, situations with numerous perilous action sequences set in exotic locations. This film borrows in story from both “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and “The Last Crusade” which I loved.
Croft is a young woman living in London who enjoys MMA and extreme bike racing. Her father left seven years ago on a “business trip” and never returned. Lara still believes he’s not dead – and wants to prove it. So she digs through some of his old belongings and what she finds sends her on a mission to a mysterious, South Seas island looking for answers.
A few light attempts at humor, particularly two scenes with Nick Frost as a pawn shop operator.
The biggest positive is Vikander. She gives it her all in a physically demanding role as the new generation Lara Croft. This character and her performance, fit in nicely with the latest trend of female action movie heroes. Wonder Woman would be proud. Unlike the ones Jolie was in, Vikander is framed with awe rather than lust.
But what keeps “Tomb Raider” down is its script, which is filled with predictable situations and cliché dialogue. They did build it up for potential sequels; I was hesitant about the new lead having only seen Vikander once before in “Jason Bourne”. She really went all out for “Tomb Raider” packing on nearly 15 lbs of muscle to perform for her role making bad guy co-star Walter Goggins embarrassed to remove his shirt, as he works out 5 days a week.
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I give it a B-