Being compared to something which Angelina Jolie has already done is a tough proposition for anyone. I am here to tell you Alicia Vikander comes off well. She holds her own. This is not a recreation of what has come before. It is a different Tomb Raider and Lara Croft.
At the age of 21, Lara Croft (Alicia Vikander – Ex Machina, The Danish Girl) is just drifting along with no real purpose. She lives in a crappy flat. Works as a bicycle courier. Fights/trains at a local gym where she is behind in payment. In actuality she is actually a rich young lady, but has turned away from that life after the disappearance and death of her father, Lord Richard Croft (Dominic West – from television’s The Wire). Truth be told, she has not really accepted that her father is gone. Refuses to sign the papers that he is dead and take over control of his global empire.
This comes to a head when she is arrested after crashing into a police car on her bike while engaging in a chase for money. Her guardian Ana Miller (Kristen Scott Thomas – The English Patient, Darkest Hour) comes to bail her out of jail and again impresses upon Lara to sign the documents. This time she gives in and does so sending her on a search for her father. Against his final wishes to her.
Leaving London behind her, Lara travels to Japan in search of Lu Ren, a man who was going to bring her father to a hidden island off the coast. She only finds his seriously drunk son (Daniel Wu – Warcraft: The Beginning, Geostorm), who says his father went missing at the same time as Lara’s father. With the aid of some money, Lara hires Lu Ren to sail her to the island, which is treacherous to get to. The storm they encounter is the least of their problems when they are captured by Mathias Vogel (Walton Groggins – from television’s Justified), a man looking for the same tomb as her father.
You pretty much know what to expect from a Tomb Raider film. Going in you should expect that it is heavy on action sequences (quick bicycle rides through London, hand to hand combat, our heroine taking people out with a bow and arrow, etc.) while lighter on character development. A film of this sorts is going to test the lead actress physically rather than stretch out their acting skills. Vikander plays the two sides of this character, the steely bravery and likable personality, well. Hers is a Lara who is vulnerable and filled with flaws. Making her more believable. The scene where she kills her first person and disgust and shame registers on her face is a strong one and shows what Vikander brings to the table.
The first films were more over the top whereas this one has a more realistic feel about it. Less supernatural stuff (though there is a touch of it still) and more straight forward action. Great action scenes that involve a waterfall and an old rusty plane. All are gorgeously shot. Including the storm at sea.