This is the Lara Croft movie we should have had before we got Angelina Jolie’s efforts.
While she isn’t a tomb raider yet, strictly speaking, we do get some interesting glimpses into the life Lara Croft might have lived before she became the star of movies and video games. This is more the ‘Young Indiana’ to Indiana’s later efforts.
Plenty of action, even if some of it is a bit stretching of the disbelief meter. Most of the first 80% of the film is decent for keeping your pulse going, but some of the final tomb bits are a bit over the top. Nothing to walk out of the theatre over, but a bit out of place when put up against the more grounded action of most of the rest of the film.
Weaving of future threads. While it certainly stands on its own two feet, there are some solid sequel threads laid down, and we get to see some connections to the earlier films and video games.
SHE WEARS PANTS! WITH POCKETS! While this may not seem like a big deal, this film takes a conscious step away from the origins of the series and Lara’s booty shorts/massive bust. While it was likely a significant factor in developing the early audience, the modern Lara is a more practical and capable Lara who doesn’t need to rely on Plot Armour anymore.
Effects are well done, and CGI appears to have been kept to a minimum.
Yes, she’s the hero, but she’d still need time to recover from those wounds. Some liberties are taken here, but at least she gets hurt and shows that she’s still evolving into the Lara Croft we are familiar with.
Honestly, I wish it had been a bit longer. There were a few places that could have been deeper, and occasionally it felt more like an ensemble film than one starring Lara Croft. Yes, it’s her origin, and that means building the foundation, but I hope to see the sequels give her more opportunities to shine.
While Angelina Jolie’s films were fun and rompy, I’d rather watch more of Alicia Vikander’s version of Lara Croft going forward. We were never ‘really’ concerned that Jolie’s Croft was going to muss her makeup, but Vikander’s Croft fights hard for every win…and she doesn’t always win. However, she always leaves you with the feeling she’ll come back and try harder next time.
Hopefully the decent box office returns will translate to quick turnarounds on the sequels.
I’m giving the Tomb Raider 4.5 out of 5 stars.