As long as Hollywood is making movies, there will be reboots and remakes…even though many of these seem to flop or flounder at the box office. Working with an already recognized property always seems like a smaller risk, at least on paper, so we aren’t likely to see film makers stop recycling ideas anytime soon.
The latest reboot is “Tomb Raider,” a story previously told through the famous video game and the original film series starring Angelina Jolie. The reboot, out in theaters now, features a scrappier, slightly more realistic take on “tomb raider” Lara Croft.
In this version, Lara is not yet a confident explorer and doesn’t really have any desire to carry on the legacy of her wealthy father, whose mysterious disappearance years ago continues to haunt her. Yet when she finally decides to claim her inheritance to prevent her father’s estate from being sold off, she receives a message from her father with clues to his last mission — searching for the tomb of a mythical queen named Himiko with terrifying powers that allow her to unleash death and destruction across the globe. As Lara decides to try to retrace her father’s steps, she finds herself pulled into a dangerous adventure with possible world-ending consequences.
Although “Tomb Raider” is sitting right at 50 percent on Rotten Tomatoes with mixed reviews from critics, I enjoyed this film and thought it was a fun action adventure that was great to catch as a weekend matinee. The plot isn’t particularly groundbreaking, but the action sequences are good. There’s nothing wrong with following the Indiana Jones template of action, stunts, and a dash of the supernatural.
As a female action movie fan, it’s always nice to see a female protagonist who is just treated like a regular character (who happens to be a woman). This version of the character isn’t sexualized, and she is also allowed to be human — with plenty of bruises, scrapes, and scars from her adventures. I’d like to see more of Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft, especially since the film’s ending most definitely leaves room for a sequel.
As mentioned before, the film’s plot doesn’t deviate much from what you might expect, though there are some fun twists, such as the reappearance of a certain character and the revelation of the truth about the legend of Queen Himiko. The action and stunt work aren’t quite as over-the-top as they are in the Angelina Jolie films, making this movie feel more believable overall. Vikander’s Lara Croft is definitely the character who stands out the most overall, and some of the other characters probably could have used a few more layers. Though I did enjoy seeing Dominic West as Lord Richard Croft, Lara’s father.
This is one of those movies where I can see why critics gave it a certain score, but I still had a lot of fun watching it and will plan to rent it again when it comes to home video. Not every film needs to be “important” or “ground breaking,” and sometimes you just want a fun action movie that you can watch with a bucket of popcorn and escape for a few hours. “Tomb Raider” did that for me.