Let’s be real, Alicia Vikander had it really tough to compete against Angelina Jolie from the two Tomb Raider movies of around 15 years ago. Sure that’s a whole generation gap in between the old movies and the newest one, but memories remain! Although the young actress does not possess the charm and femme fatalle characteristics from her senior, Alicia did portray a convincing, determined and strong-willed woman who went to extraordinary lengths to achieve the change that her life so desperately required. NO SPOILERS THIS TIME!
Lara was born in a family with history and wealth, but with absent parents and a mother who passed away early. Her father, Richard Croft, had a passion for historic artifacts and tales and was obsessed with the occult since his wife’s death. As a result, the magnate spent long periods of time abroad. That was until he came across the story of Himeko, a Japanese death Goddess who was imprisoned on an island close to the Japanese coast. He had never returned from that trip and had left Lara alone.
When Lara was about to finally sign the papers to become the owner of the Croft enterprises, thus admitting that her father was dead, she received a puzzle alongside the papers that she had to sign. Once solved, Lara knew where she should go to find more about her father and what had truly happened to him, thus beginning an adventure in pursuit of Himeko’s legend and to discover father’s whereabouts or at least, his final resting place.
For those of you who don’t know, Tomb Raider was a popular video game franchise back in the 90’s and mid-2000’s where you play as Lara Croft to solve puzzles and kill bad guys. That’s a generalist way of putting it. It is arguable if it’s still popular or not, but that’s not what I am here to discuss.
Unlike this movie’s predecessors, Tomb Raider 2018 begins before the acquisition of the Croft Industries by Lara, which means that she is as poor as the next girl. The movie plays out well with a pace that does not let you yawn as it intertwines in between action and suspense scenes.
The plot does not beat around the bush at all, and the road to the point is always clear. One time she’s racing on a bike, another she’s signing papers and discovering what her father was up to, and then she’s looking for a captain, Lu Ren, to take her to an uncharted island.
After a tumultuous arrival at the island’s shore, Lara and Lu Ren do not have it easy for them. I was thrilled with the authenticity of the sequences! Watching Lara running around the forest, getting scratched here and there. The mixture of moans and screams when she’s in pain or trying really hard to do something had me somewhat divided in between originality and being obnoxious. All of this really emphasizes the sense of survivability in the movie, although there’s a part where someone gets stabbed and barely bats an eye because of it for the rest of the film… But the sense is there, nonetheless…
The action scenes were above average, some guns here and there. Some arrows flying with deadly aim here and there as well. But then, there’s a freaking grappling fight where Lara submits her opponent who ends up dying with his face in a puddle of mud. That was the cherry on the cake!
As for the exploration scenes, they were okay… I was counting on watching a lot more puzzles than the ones I saw and unfortunately, even the ones’ present lack a little more depth to them. Alas, by the end of the movie we have two little twists, one for the main story of this piece of the 7th art, and the other almost prophesizing a sequel, which if you take a look at the worldwide box office, we’ll probably get to witness since it profited something around 93 million dollars.
Tomb Raider 2018 is definitely a good movie across all points on the board, but it lacks something that would make it memorable. A sequel would certainly make sense for a more ambitious movie, but I’m also inclined that there are some risks in doing so since the movie was not a clear success.