It's a movie based on a video game, after the first video game
generated its own movie, so don't look for sequels or even comparisons.
It's meant to stand alone, but it's also meant to strictly
And entertain it does, mostly because of the star
power of Alicia Vikander. She's
gritty enough to make you admire her, pretty enough to make you want to
look at her, and just vulnerable enough to make you empathize with her.
We meet Lara Croft while she's losing a kickboxing match.
She's obviously toned and skilled, but her opponent is getting the
best of her, she just doesn't want to admit it.
She's a bike courier by trade, and scrapes along financially
because she refuses to sign the papers that would allow for a big
inheritance---because signing would also admit her father's dead---and
she's isn't ready to accept that. Richard
Croft (Dominic West) left
seven years ago, when she was still a teenager, off to one of his
archaeological adventures, and he's never returned.
After one more glimpse into Lara's determined character---she
accepts a bike-race challenge which offers some pretty good chase
scenes---Lara finally finds a clue to where her father traveled last, and
she is determined to follow his trail, from London to Hong Kong.
There, she manages to meet up with a drunk boat captain, Lu Ren
(Daniel Wu), whose father helped Lara's father.
Together they find the myterious destination island off the coast
of Japan—or rather, they crash on the rocks there, now marooned, only to
be captured by a rival, more violent, archaeological group, headed by the
menacingly casual Mathias Vogel (Walton Goggins).
Lara's escape provides more harrowing chase sequences, and we even
have time for an “aww” moment---her reunion with her lost Dad, who
actually wasn't lost, but didn't come home because he was trying to
protect her? Well, Dads don't
always turn out to be everything we projected on them as kids, and
learning that is part of growing up, as well, even for fantasy characters
like Lara Croft.
But despite the emotional sidetrack, the focus is really on
exploring the ancient tomb itself, complete with all its trap doors,
hidden keys, dead-end passageways, skeleton guardians, and cryptic ancient
puzzles. There are some
malevolent curses that will take the swagger right out of men with guns.
Mostly, it's about watching Lara Croft---one harrowing escape after
another, fearless and ferocious, but not without a little tenderness.
It's just that we don't have time for any romance;
we're too busy saving the world and resolving our long-standing
Don't expect all the plot twists to resolve clearly, but do expect
to be set up for a sequel. If
Alicia Vikander returns in the lead role, expect some enthusiastic