It’s been a while since I’ve posted about the fact that video games should not be made into films. Reason for this rant was the terrible adaptation of Assassin’s Creed. Seriously, if you even think about watching that one, don’t. Anyway, when I heard a new Tomb Raider film was coming up, I was excited. I grew up with Lara Croft, playing the game together with my brother. She was everything I wanted to be. Smart, brave and beautiful. Back in 2001 and 2003, Angelina Jolie portrayed Lara Croft in the first Tomb Raider adaptations to the silver screen. While the films weren’t necessarily good, I still enjoyed them. Especially the second one but that might have been because of my Gerard Butler obsession. 2018s Lara Croft is portrayed by Alicia Vikander. But is her version of the video game heroine convincing enough?
Taken from RottenTomatoes.com:
Lara Croft is the fiercely independent daughter of an eccentric adventurer who vanished when she was scarcely a teen. Now a young woman of 21 without any real focus or purpose, Lara navigates the chaotic streets of trendy East London as a bike courier, barely making the rent, and takes college courses, rarely making it to class. Determined to forge her own path, she refuses to take the reins of her father’s global empire just as staunchly as she rejects the idea that he’s truly gone. Advised to face the facts and move forward after seven years without him, even Lara can’t understand what drives her to finally solve the puzzle of his mysterious death.
Going explicitly against his final wishes, she leaves everything she knows behind in search of her dad’s last-known destination: a fabled tomb on a mythical island that might be somewhere off the coast of Japan. But her mission will not be an easy one; just reaching the island will be extremely treacherous. Suddenly, the stakes couldn’t be higher for Lara, who–against the odds and armed with only her sharp mind, blind faith and inherently stubborn spirit–must learn to push herself beyond her limits as she journeys into the unknown. If she survives this perilous adventure, it could be the making of her, earning her the name tomb raider.
Generic Plot & Convincing Acting
Tomb Raider was never going to be a revolutionary picture that would change Hollywood. The plot is quite generic, yet it stays close to its source material, albeit toned down. The film’s villain is rather shallow, with the only layer of depth added to his character being the fact that he has a family he wants to return to. Lara’s sidekick barely gets time to shine. But if you don’t look at those things, what remains is an entertaining action-flick.
It is far more realistic than the earlier Tomb Raider films, in which Jolie portrayed a different, much more exaggerated version of the character. While Tomb Raider starts slow, it ends in a fast-paced action feast with its fair share of jump scares. I also appreciate that Lara has a boxing match in the beginning of the film which she loses. Throughout the film, Lara finds herself in similar battle situations, yet manages to overcome them. All-in-all, the film never really bored me.
All the love for Alicia
Nobody was probably as dedicated for this project as Alicia Vikander was. The Swedish actress plays the title role, and even gained an eight-pack for her role in the film. Alicia is an excellent Lara, as she combines both the intelligence, bravery and beauty in a convincing manner. Her Lara is relatable, apart from the fact that most of us probably will never have that eight pack. Although Alicia makes Lara a total bad-ass, she also manages to keep the character vulnerable, which is what appealed to me. I love characters that make me feel like I can be a total bad-ass too. Even though I have to admit that I probably would have died a thousand times if I were to be in similar situations.
Angelina Vs. Alicia
There is one controversy surrounding this film that angers me greatly. In a couple of reviews, Alicia has been called too boyish and ‘lacking sex-appeal’. These reviewers are upset that Vikander doesn’t have big boobs. Angelina is dragged into the conversation a lot. But her boobs were enhanced for her version of Lara Croft. It is shocking that in 2018, a fantastic actress is not getting the recognition she deserves because of her body. Alicia has done excellent work bringing Lara to life again.
Besides, Alicia’s Lara is more like the version we find in the newer game, whilst Angelina’s is more like the older version. While it is inevitable that people compare the two, I believe that both of them have done an excellent job working with the material that was handed to them. But to criticise the appearance of the main actress and saying it is not empowering for women is insane. This is empowering to women. It shows us that we don’t have to be a lust object to succeed. We can be just as tough as men. The size of our boobs should not matter.