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.