Since the first Tomb Raider game launched in 1996, Lara Croft has been a recognizable character in video-game circles. She later was embodied in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider in 2001 and its follow-up film two years later by Angelina Jolie, but that was then. In the new film simply titled Tomb Raider, we get a new Lara Croft and a new adventure as, much like the video game did, we relaunch this classic character.
This time around, Lara Croft (Alicia Vikander) is searching for her father. Seven years have passed since Lord Richard Croft’s (Dominic West) disappearance, and Lara still holds out hope that he is alive. It isn’t until she is faced with the loss of everything her family holds dear that Lara prepares to admit he may be gone forever. But then, a puzzle and a variety of clues lead her to have second thoughts and set out on an adventure to find the man she calls Dad.
The journey has the athletic Croft using all of her mettle to sift through the wilderness and the variety of men who are trying to keep her from finding her father. There is adventure and danger around every corner, but this woman is ready to take on all challenges.
With video-game movies, it can be a fine line between greatness and full-blown cheesy ridiculousness. Tomb Raider walks the line on the good side of the two, but just barely. The longer I thought about it, the more I talked myself into liking what I saw.
I questioned Vikander’s ability to hold her own in the action sequences and was pleasantly surprised in her embodiment of Croft’s bold and daring nature. Whether she was bike racing in the city or running away in the jungle, Vikander was very believable in her role.
I did find some of the plot clunky, some of the dialogue off and much of the film’s serious aspects just plain boring. However, as the opening salvo in a reboot of the franchise, this isn’t an awful effort by any means. The “bad guys” in the movie were disappointing, but there is a real future here.
Welcome back, Lara Croft — it’s good to have you here. For all involved, let’s take this iconic character to the next level next time and create a complete movie for the versatile Ms. Vikander. The fans of the game and fans of fun action movies will all thank you.
Tomb Raider is available On Demand Beginning June 12. Check your cable system for availability.