17 Years later Tomb Raider Returns to the Big Screen with Reboot
Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr.com
By Marc Torres
When I found out Hollywood was in the process of rebooting the Tomb Raider film franchise, I asked myself one question. Why?
The first two Tomb Raider films were made back in 2001, and 2003. They starred Angelina Jolie and were box office successes. However, they did not do too well with critics because of the senseless plotlines and emotionless performances.
The new Tomb Raider, which stars Alicia Vikander, is vastly different from the earlier films. After watching it I realized why Tomb Raider was being rebooted, because Lara Croft is an amazing character that people need to be more familiar with.
Croft is the protagonist of the video game series that shares the same name as the films. She was one the first female characters people were able to play with on the Sony Playstation 1, and she was represented as incredibly intelligent, athletic, dangerous, and attractive. Croft is an archaeologist and somewhat of a treasure hunter, which makes her want to explore things like ancient tombs around the world. The game was a success commercially, and at the time was pushing the envelope on game mechanics and storytelling within them.
The first two movies were bad, but the reboot redeems them. The writing for the reboot is good, the acting is great, and the directing is surprisingly amazing.
In this film we follow Lara Croft as she embarks on a journey to find her missing father, whose last known location was by an ancient tomb on a mythical island off the coast of Japan. We later find out that she is responsible for saving the world because of things that happen that are beyond her control.
Of course we get a bunch of action (since this is a big budget action film), but they’re very well crafted action sequences that genuinely make you feel worried for Lara Croft’s safety. They make you wonder how she’ll get out of the situations she gets herself into, and if it’s even possible (even when you know that she’ll get out just fine).
The film shows how smart Lara Croft really is. Her father leaves behind loads of clues, maps, and puzzles, to find the mythical island he had been searching for and where he ultimately vanished. Lara has to solve these puzzles and use the clues to find the island, just like her father did. She’s quick at figuring out what she needs to know because she’s constantly thinking, and we get a sense that she’s very well educated. The scenes during which she has to solve a puzzle or use a clue are a nod to the video games since in the video games you have to sometimes solve a puzzle or two to get to another level.
We also get very satisfying emotional performances that let us know the softer side of Lara Croft. From the earliest scenes we see and understand how she’s never gotten over the case of her missing father. She refuses to accept that he’s dead, and it solidifies her motivation to look for him.
Overall, Tomb Raider isn’t a particularly great movie, but it has some good scenes that make it worth watching. You really want to see this movie for Lara Croft though, because she’s an action hero that we don’t really get to see all the time. Lara Croft is a woman, a fighter, and a genius. Hollywood doesn’t give us enough female protagonists or female action heroes, so I’m glad this reboot happened.