#EditorChoice Tomb Raider Movie Review

Tomb Raider Story: Lara Croft seeks to find the truth about her father’s disappearance, which takes her on an adventure that pushes her to her limits.

Tomb Raider Review: In the early 2000’s, Angelina Jolie played Lara Croft in a couple of films based on the video-game character who fuelled the fantasies of gaming nerds everywhere. Based on the success of the game’s reboot in 2013, the time seemed appropriate to focus on Lara Croft’s abilities as a female adventurer, rather than her status as a sex symbol. To say that Alicia Vikander had big boots to fill would be an understatement. Then again, Vikander is more than capable as an actress, with an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress (‘Danish Girl’) in her belt. She takes on the physically demanding role in this live-action revision of the franchise with ease, erasing any trace of her on-screen predecessor.

This version of Lara Croft is emotionally vulnerable and devoid of superhuman abilities. She needs to use her intellect and courage to overcome the challenges ahead of her. Vikander keeps us invested enough through Lara Croft’s transformation from a naive, hesitant girl to a confident woman who isn’t afraid of taking risks. But in establishing her roots, the film resorts to some of the clichéd tropes of an origin tale. As a result, the plot is often predictable and logically convenient to push the story forward. There’s also the problem of the generic villain Vogel, played by Walton Goggins, who doesn’t feel sufficiently threatening to be taken seriously.

On the other hand, Dominic West as Lord Richard Croft brings in enough emotional resonance as Lara’s father to make her motivations well-justified as their scenes together are essential to the plot. Although the clunky screenplay results in uneven pacing issues that make for a sloppy watch, the action is compelling enough to see you through. If only it didn’t rely so heavily on snappy editing, it would be even more thrilling. These choices by director Roar Uthaug hold the movie back from being an intense experience. But ‘Tomb Raider’ does enough to reignite the franchise onscreen by giving its protagonist a timely and relevant overhaul to confidently launch Alicia Vikander as this generation’s Lara Croft.

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