Tomb Raider

Lara Croft doing her best Katniss Everdeen impression
Verdict: 
7/10 - Alicia Vikander shines as Lara Croft in this exciting action-adventure
Release Date: 
Thursday, March 15, 2018
Written by: 

Alicia Vikander takes over from Angelina Jolie as the popular video game character Lara Croft in this reboot.

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After appearing in 2001's Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and the 2003 follow-up The Cradle of Life, Angelina Jolie called time on playing the British adventurer, and now Swedish actress Alicia Vikander has stepped into her tomb-raiding shoes for a reboot.

Thankfully, this doesn't tread old ground and shows Lara as we've never seen her before.

The Jolie movies began with her already being a hardened explorer, but this instalment, based on the 2013 video game of the same name, we see how Croft comes to be the action hero.

We first meet her as a bicycle courier living in London with hardly any money because she refuses to declare her father dead to gain her inheritance even though he has been missing for several years.

Croft finally goes to sign the papers when his business associate Ana (Kristin Scott Thomas) tells her Croft Manor will be sold off if she doesn't.

In doing so, she receives a puzzle from her dad Richard (Dominic West) which leads her to his secret office, where she discovers his research into the mythical Queen Himiko, who can kill anybody by touching them.

He asks Lara to burn his research so nobody can find where her tomb is, but she decides to investigate and follow her father's footsteps.

Lara heads to Hong Kong and finds sailor Lu Ren (Daniel Wu) to take her to the island of Yamatai off the coast of Japan, which turns out to be populated by a team led by Mathias Vogel (Walton Goggins) trying to open the tomb on behalf of shadowy organisation Trinity.

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What is most refreshing about Tomb Raider is that Croft is portrayed as more of a realistic person, whereas Jolie was more of the video game fantasy version.

Vikander's Croft may be physically tough and have an athletic body, but she is not sexualised or put in ridiculously sexy outfits.

She is also new at this tomb raiding thing, so makes mistakes and seems to be on the backfoot often. She gets beaten up, she gets dirty and squeals regularly, something rarely seen in the films before.

Vikander didn't seem like the obvious choice for the role but she casts away any doubts pretty early on.

Thanks to her training she looks at her physical peak, and convincingly takes on the numerous action scenes. But she gives Croft a more emotional side too - she isn't strong all the time and the mission is a struggle which sometimes gets to her.

The dialogue isn't the most inspired but the general story is really fun and entertaining. The scenes inside the tomb, with the team having to dodge clever death traps, is exciting and nerve-racking, while the scenes near Himiko's burial place are quite scary.

The film could have done with a bit more humour, as it seems to disappear upon the arrival of Yamatai, and Vikander had the only substantial female role, but it is an enjoyable ride that offers thrills and exciting set pieces galore.

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