'Tomb Raider' Is Another Good Girl Power Flick for Tweens

Hot on the heels of blockbuster girl-power flicks like Wonder Woman and Black Panther comes Tomb Raider. Lara Croft (Alicia Vikander) is the willfully independent—though not entirely successful—daughter of Lord Richard Croft (Dominic West), an eccentric, wealthy aristocratic adventurer who vanished when she was a mere tween. Now 21 years old and standing to inherit the family fortune and global empire, Lara refuses to sign papers declaring her that dad is dead. Instead, she sets off on a danger-fraught adventure through the waves of the mysterious Devil’s Sea to rescue him.

She does this knowing that she’s going against his final wishes. Lara leaves everything she knows behind in search of a fabled tomb on the mythical island that might be somewhere off the coast of Japan. The stakes couldn’t be higher for Lara. Against all odds and armed with only her wits, faith in family, and a stubborn spirit, Lara learns to push herself beyond her limits as she dives headlong into the unknown. She could die. But if she survives this perilous adventure, it will earn her the lauded name: Tomb Raider.

Tomb Raider hits the bullseye for its target teen audience, thanks to the Vikander’s casting. She’s small, spritely, and a real powerhouse—what’s more, the Oscar-winning actress excels at showing the seams beneath the veneer of invincibility. She’s not a superhero, she’s just a young woman who is determined to not only save her father but also to uncover her own dormant strengths. (Sharing similar themes to the recently-released A Wrinkle in Time.)

However, parents may not enjoy the film quite as much. Not that there’s much objectionable material here (bearing in mind it is based on a video game, and there is some violence) but there’s an awful lot of exposition and repetition, plus flashbacks galore. Adult viewers could well be bored at times. Fans of the game will notice the jettisoning of one of the Tomb Raider franchise’s core plot points and probably won’t be happy about that.

But back to the great casting. A particularly bright spot is Walton Goggins as the sinister archaeologist and Order of Trinity crusader, Mathias Vogel. Vogel has been trapped on the cursed path of land for seven years and blames Lara’s dad for the mess he’s in. He’s determined to get revenge and solve the puzzle while he’s at it. Not unlike Indiana Jones’ nemesis in Raiders Of The Lost Ark, Vogel is a man on a mission and it’s a lot of fun watching him be evil. Martial arts star Daniel Wu plays the rebellious and reckless boat captain who ferries Lara from civilization into the shrouded mists of Yamatai Island and he’s great too.

There’s plenty of action and it’s led by a tough, smart, and determined young heroine—all in all, Tomb Raider is worth a trip to the theater for the big-screen experience.

Tags : film   movies   action movies   girl power   

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