In “Tomb Raider ,” which has elements of “Indiana Jones,” “Batman” and even “Tron: Legacy,” but with an angsty young woman at the centre instead of an angsty young man, Alicia Vikander takes a lot of beatings. She is punched in the face, and in the stomach, she is thrown against rocks and sent careening through a forest, she is impaled, hit by a car, left in an impossible one-handed dead hang at least four times, and she is choked, really choked, by both men and women alike.
And she pulls it off! The movie itself is another, more complicated, story, but this video game adaption is better than most with set pieces that are both fun and ridiculous (like a high-stakes escape room) that actually seem to approximate the experience of playing a video game.
After two pretty lousy attempts, and a lot of terrible video game adaptations on the way, Hollywood has resurrected “Tomb Raider,” and plucked the most recent supporting actress Oscar winner production could get their hands on. And like Angelina Jolie before her, Vikander has, exactly two years after her Academy Award win for an emotional drama, stepped into Lara Croft’s combat boots and decided to raid some tombs.
Directed by Norwegian filmmaker Roar Uthaug (“The Wave”), Lara is introduced getting her butt kicked in a boxing ring. The gym membership that gives her access to these low-rent Rocky-esque facilities is one she can’t afford to pay. She is scrappy and barely getting by on her bike courier service paycheque. She also isn’t afraid to take on a challenge for a few hundred bucks, like, say, biking through the streets of London with a foxtail attached to her machine while two dozen guys try to catch her. But she’s also not past seeing a random business man on the street, thinking that perhaps it is her long-lost and presumed to be dead father (Dominic West) and going into a hazy flashback dream that distracts her enough to lose focus in the race and flip over a police car.
At the local police station, we learn the truth of Lara: This isn’t some working class girl at all, this is someone who grew up wealthier than most could imagine and whose inheritance won’t kick in until she signs some papers acknowledging that her father, who disappeared seven years ago, is dead. Just as she’s about to concede to her father’s …read more