Tomb Raider is far better than I expected with Alicia Vikander a welcome new female action hero; it’s a shame Daniel Wu has a rather thankless role but it is still entertaining yet disposable fun.
Plot: Lara Croft is the fiercely independent daughter of an eccentric adventurer who vanished years earlier. Hoping to solve the mystery of her father’s disappearance, Croft embarks on a perilous journey to his last-known destination — a fabled tomb on a mythical island that might be somewhere off the coast of Japan. The stakes couldn’t be higher as Lara must rely on her sharp mind, blind faith and stubborn spirit to venture into the unknown.
Review: The video game adaptation has always been a tough nut to crack however, this new Tomb Raider reboot starring Alicia Vikander may well be one of the best to date and it’s certainly the best Tomb Raider movie.
I always loved Angelina but the movies themselves were pretty poor and I always found her a little cold and aloof so you never felt like you cared or really got to know her iteration of Lara Croft. Alicia Vikander is immensely sympathetic and shows far more emotion, coming off as strong but vulnerable where she very much felt like a real person.
CG fuckery is thankfully kept to a minimum (although there is some) and most of the action is grounded but it still feels very much like the Tomb Raider video games; I found the first half took a little while to get going and there’s no real tomb raiding until much later into the story.
There are some impressive set-pieces although a few scenes were straight up lifted from Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade especially when the ground is collapsing around our explorers. There were a couple of fight scenes where Vikander got to show us some of her impressive moves where she could hold her own against her opponents but she could still bleed, never feeling like an invincible super hero.
Tomb Raider has an impressive cast including Derek Jakobi, Kristin Scott Thomas, Daniel Wu, Dominic West, Nick Frost and Walton Goggins who remains one of my favourite actors and he is entertainingly nasty in this movie. Although Daniel Wu has a sizable role he doesn’t get much in the way of action with zero fight scenes which seemed like a waste.
The story is mostly very predictable and you can tell various plot twists before they happen but as a fresh start to a budding franchise you could do a lot worse. Trinity is clearly going to be a SPECTRE like eeevil organisation and I look forward to seeing what direction it goes in for future entries (if this is a hit).
One thing which is normally sorely missing from movies like these is heart but Tomb Raider had an emotional core with Lara pining for her lost father while trying to find her own place in the world.
Junkie XL’s score was very generic with nothing resembling a tune which is very disappointing. Lara deserves an Indiana Jones style theme tune but I guess that was from a bygone era of better film music and frankly better films.
The adventure genre is one of my absolute favourites so I love to see movies like this on the big screen so you can get swept away for a few hours.
Overall, Tomb Raider is massively entertaining with Vikander making the role of Lara her own while also giving us a truly likable hero. We’ve seen it all before but for pure escapism and adventure thrills Lara Croft delivers the goods.