Tomb Raider (2018) Review
Films with epic battles and even bigger creatures seem to be the norm at the box office today. This is why when I want something more than a lighthearted comedy, discovering an adventure that takes a more purposeful approach is a high point in my movie-going experiences. One such recent discovery is the film Tomb Raider.
Rising star Alicia Vikandar stars as the intrepid Lara Croft, a young woman unafraid of anything. In the wake of her father’s seven-year long disappearance, Lara has become self-reliant and determined. Despite the wealth attached to her father and their name, Lara refuses to accept the wealth (even though she is in need of funds) because it comes with a catch. She must first sign papers to declare him dead.
Before she can sign anything, she discovers secrets her father kept hidden. Secrets that means discovering a hidden tomb, and destroying its contents lest they fall into the wrong hands…
Inspired by this film, only recently did I (finally) watch the films that came first, and both of which star Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft. Entertaining though they are, they really don’t rank with this new adaptation. This version keeps things more interesting, and also introduces viewers to a “grittier” Lara Croft, which I think many interested viewers will like.
For all the pros, the early 2000s version has a crack or two too many which prevents me from giving them rave reviews. Will I watch them again? Probably, but they aren’t favorite adventure films. This remake however does rank. There’s something about it that’s more genuine though largely this is owing to the simple miracle that is modern filmmaking. The action sequences find a firm footing in Tomb Raider whereas the early version doesn’t (by this I mean, these scenes use a more realistic approach; though don’t misunderstand, there’s still some “oh come on” reactions to the feats). In my opinion, this is a huge “pro column” win.
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One of the most popular box office stars, Alicia Vikandar is great as Lara. Her character has a story that intrigues as each layer peels back. It’s her past and the choices of her present that I find most interesting about the character. She lives contrary to her heritage which sets up a great plot and character. The supporting characters don’t give us much chance to know them because it’s Lara who’s the tough heroine and therefore the script doesn’t see a need to give her a “team.” I do like the character who’s closest to a sidekick as this film goes, and would find it of interest to see his return if a sequel were made.
With its thrilling action and sense of adventure, this new actioner is sure to excite anyone who likes the genre. Its fast pace improves the story flow, and the fresh faces in the cast puts a new spin on the characteristics. Those of us who like the genre best buckle up for an adventure because for pure entertainment, Tomb Raider finds its mark.
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Content: There’s violence, and implications of supernatural elements (i.e. curses and deadly diseases); people die from being impaled or shot, structures crumble and take victims with it. There’s some commonplace profanity. The film is rated PG-13.