Tomb Raider Reviewed By Jon E Clist

The Premise
Lara Croft is the fiercely independent daughter of an eccentric adventurer who vanished when she was scarcely a teen. Now a young woman of 21 without any real focus or purpose, Lara navigates the chaotic streets of trendy East London as a bike courier, barely making the rent, and takes college courses, rarely making it to class. Determined to forge her own path, she refuses to take the reins of her father's global empire just as staunchly as she rejects the idea that he's truly gone. Advised to face the facts and move forward after seven years without him, even Lara can't understand what drives her to finally solve the puzzle of his mysterious death. Going explicitly against his final wishes, she leaves everything she knows behind in search of her dad's last-known destination: a fabled tomb on a mythical island that might be somewhere off the coast of Japan. But her mission will not be an easy one; just reaching the island will be extremely treacherous

The Review
Looking back at the previous incarnations of cinematic Tomb Raider, for the most part, I have thoroughly enjoyed them. I think that Angelina Jolie was a pretty good fit to the role, especially in the early days when the game was visually focused on the somewhat impossibly curvy style of Lara Croft. While the gam has kind of toned down the curves a little it is time that Lara was played by someone in a more athletic style in order to well fit into the adventurous nature of the role. I should point out that my enjoyment of the franchise is not related to the feminine form but instead the overall action and adventure within the plot. Just as I love me the Indiana Jones franchise and in the gaming world my absolute favourite is the Uncharted series.

When the reboot of Tomb Raider was announced it was easy to start the though process around who they would cast into the central role and while Daisy Ridley, Emilia Clarke, Saoirse Ronan and Cara Delevingne were all at times the frontrunners for Lara Croft, it was Alicia Vikander was eventually scored the role. It is obvious that Alicia Vikander was a fan of the video game series growing up due to the way in which she has approached the role. In fact, she put on a lot of muscle to play Lara, as she wanted the character to be as realistic as possible, plus she also did all of her own stunts.

Having seen her in action now, it is hard to imagine anyone else taking the centre stage in this cinematic world. Her ability to bring drama and emotion to match the high energy needed for the action is something rather exquisite. It also seems as though a little more time has been put in to making the storyline more cohesive then its predecessors. In fact, while there were a few twists and turns along the way, the storyline ended up in a place that made sense and flowed well. I know what you’re thinking, “Surely this is a just a given for a film?” but alas no, not all films have that cohesive nature to their plots.

While Daniel Wu is amazing in the TV series Into the Badlands, he becomes a little more of a space filler here and to be honest that is actually a good thing, as it would seem weird to have him upstage the title character. Add to that the modern cinematic move of creating female lead action characters that are doing it for themselves. The same could be said of all the other characters within the film. Yes, there are solid bad guys and good supporting cast members, but this is a Lara Croft tale and she is firmly in the driver’s seat. Well at least by the end of the film, as this is her origin story. The film that shows us how she becomes the Tomb Raider.

Another aspect I liked about this film was the way in which many of the action scenes were filmed and edited to fit the style of an adventure game. I could see myself doing many of the scenes over again and having to memorize the way in which the traps unfolded around me. Just as in a good gam you could imagine many of the action sequences being made into a live action movie.

The Verdict
High action fun time film that will be enjoyed by gamers and non-gamers alike. A very satisfying return for the franchise.

The Trailer

The Info
Releases: 15th March 2018
Rating: M – Contains violence
Duration: 118 minutes 
Genre:  Action
Starring: Alicia Vikander, Dominic West, Walton Goggins , Daniel Wu
Director: Roar Uthaug (The Wave, Escape)

The Extras
The film's plot is based on the 2013 reboot of the video game series.

In March 2013, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer announced that they acquired the rights to the "Tomb Raider" video game from Paramount Pictures, who let their film rights to the video game series expire after Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003) failed to find audiences.

Daisy Ridley had turned down the role of Lara Croft due to her commitment on Star Wars: Episode IX (2019).

Alicia Vikander will not only be the second actress to portray Lara Croft in a movie, but also the second Oscar winning actress to do so after Angelina Jolie. The two won in the same category, Best Supporting Actress (Jolie in 2000 for Girl, Interrupted (1999) and Vikander in 2016 for The Danish Girl (2015)).