Tomb Raider

YOU (South Africa) - - CHILL OUT -

Ac­tion ad­ven­ture. With Ali­cia Vikan­der, Do­minic West and Wal­ton Gog­gins. Di­rec­tor: Roar Uthaug. 13V. Like many re­boots be­fore it, this third adap­ta­tion of the videogame presents a fresh take on its fa­mil­iar lead char­ac­ter by go­ing back to her ori­gins. It’s cen­tred on 21-year-old Lara Croft (Vikan­der), an in­ex­pe­ri­enced, more vul­ner­a­ble ver­sion than the cocky, tough ad­ven­turer from the movies star­ring An­gelina Jolie.

Seven years af­ter her ar­chae­ol­o­gist fa­ther (West) dis­ap­peared, Lara is a bike courier in Lon­don. Re­luc­tantly sign­ing pa­pers declar­ing her fa­ther dead, Lara gains ac­cess to his of­fice where she finds re­search on an un­charted is­land said to house the tomb of a pow­er­ful witch. Lara sets off to find the is­land, but it’s not long be­fore she’s in se­ri­ous dan­ger.

Though this is a pretty straight­for­ward ad­ven­ture story in the vein of In­di­ana Jones, a num­ber of el­e­ments lift it above the or­di­nary. Like Jolie, Vikan­der is beau­ti­ful and ath­letic but in a more down-to-earth, re­al­is­tic way. Jolie’s Lara was so in con­trol she never seemed to be in any real dan­ger, but this Lara is in over her head, which height­ens the ten­sion. The film also de­picts her as a strong, re­source­ful hero­ine worth root­ing for, not an al­most car­toon­ish ob­ject of de­sire.

Add to this re­fresh­ing twists on the usual clichés, solid sup­port from West and Daniel Wu (Into the Bad­lands), and a sat­is­fy­ing finale, and you have a thrilling ac­tion film that’s one of the best videogame movie adap­ta­tions yet.

Ali­cia Vikan­der is the new Lara Croft in Tomb Raider.

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