'Tomb Raider' Movie Review: Alicia Vikander's Terrific in Action-Hero Mode


In the middle of Tomb Raider is a domino-chain action set piece that would not be out of place in an Indiana Jones movie.

It's been five years since the video-game reboot of the Tomb Raider franchise, which reimagined Lara Croft as a younger, less experienced, and deliberately desexualized action heroine.

Right from Vikander being body-shamed to her flaws being counted out, the movie has created seen enough buzz on social media.

"Tomb Raider", a Warner Bros. release, is rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America for "sequences of violence and action, and for some language". Surprisingly, we're introduced to Lara as a bike messenger in London, a down-on-her-luck young adult who's struggling to make ends meet in the modern world. The Tomb Raider film, starring Academy Award victor Alicia Vikander, will hit 3,854 theaters this weekend with the hope that it can unearth the top spot at the box office.

After an awards season in which feminist campaigns like Me Too and Time's Up have dominated the conversation, the American star championed her female co-stars and all of the females in the room at the ceremony by asking them all to stand.

More news: Drake and Ninja just smashed Twitch's viewer record playing Fortnite

Though she rejects her father's superstitious ideas, Lara's quest leads her to retrace his footsteps, making things worse in the process.

Vikander worked hard to get into fighting shape for the role and reportedly did all her own stunts: a level of commitment reminiscent of Tom Cruise in the Mission: Impossible movies. What Lara goes through gives her the requisite experience to make her more of a badass.

Adapting video games into movies has not resulted in much box office or creative success. She now wears sensible cargo trousers, and the familiar tank top doesn't seem exploitative without the padding Jolie wore. Though her origin stories have changed quite a bit over the last 20 years or so, Lara is often the daughter of an aristocratic family and is orphaned in a variety of ways: plane crash, mysterious disappearances during archaeological expeditions, and presumed suicides.

Uthaug and cinematographer George Richmond film her pretty much the same way a male action hero would be shot, demonstrating that not objectifying an action heroine isn't exclusively the purview of female filmmakers like Wonder Woman's Patty Jenkins. The two make their perilous way to the island, only to discover a group of mercenaries led by the weaselly Mathias Vogel (Walton Goggins) has been stationed there for years, trying to discover the ancient tomb and plunder it on behalf of the evil illuminati group funding their expedition. She wants to make it on her own, stating that "I'm not that kind of Croft". In that sense, Lara Croft has much in common with our boy Batman. Now, Jolie is high up on the A-List, but when she starred in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider in 2001, she wasn't yet a household name. "Tomb Raider" also generated $500,000 in Thursday night previews. I don't begrudge Vikander for wanting to hit the jackpot, but I would wish for her a different career trajectory than, say, Robert Downey Jr., another marvelous actor who has pretty much jettisoned his career as a "serious" actor in non-franchise fare, thus depriving us, and himself, of some potentially great performances that don't involve suiting up in superhero armor. The denouement is an open gambit toward a sequel - a gambit of the increasingly ubiquitous and tiresome sort that prevents most franchise films nowadays from committing to telling a story start to finish - pitting Lara against this campaign to "control the supernatural".

He went looking for Himiko, Queen of Yamatai.