“Tomb Raider” was first released in 1996 as an action-adventure video game. The first film adaption was released in the summer of 2001 and its sequel in 2003, with Angelina Jolie starring as Lara Croft. Nearly 15 years after its live-action debut, the revival film starring Alicia Vikander depicts Croft as more of a practical heroine rather than Jolie’s hypersexualized character.
The 2018 movie release of “Tomb Raider” tells a story of brave Lara Croft (Vikander), heir to her father Richard Croft’s (Dominic West) massive corporate empire, Croft Holdings. In search of her father, Lara becomes shipwrecked on the island where her father was thought to have disappeared. The new feature’s plot differs from the 2013 game reboot in many ways, but the general narrative remains.
While I am not an expert in all things Tomb Raider, I did “borrow” the 2013 game series reboot from a friend about 5years ago, and still play it every now and then (thanks, Joe). I will say, as far as action sequences and general plot-lines are concerned, there isn’t a better live action re-telling out there. That’s about as far as this movie will take you. It provides unmatched physicality, but lacks any substance.
It is easy to over-analyze movies like this. Ultimately, its an action-adventure film, and that is basically it. Like in the games, the plot is cheesy and involves no believable chemistry between Lara and her father or her newly acquired ally, Lu Ren (Daniel Wu).
The story is much more realistic than any previous Tomb Raider plots, as it follows the characters movement across an island. The film attempts to make every interaction more human and less caught up in that non-sense with curses featured in the prior installments. Lara is caught fighting a real villain that each of us relates with.
Lara Croft is stuck on the island and has no one to turn to but herself. She puts herself in a place where she must succeed or be responsible for the loss of many lives. She struggles with self-image and wants to make her dad proud. When he is no longer there to help, she looks inward and finds more than what she thought she had: she is brave and has a really impressive vertical.
Watch the trailer here