April 4, 2018

Tomb Raider: Alicia Vikander Plays Acrobatic Superhero in Remake of Action Movie

By Kam Williams

Times have certainly changed when dramatic actresses can now play action heroes in blockbuster movies. For instance, Jennifer Lawrence had already been nominated for an Academy Award (Winter’s Bone) when she agreed to star as Katniss Everdeen in the adaptation of The Hunger Games trilogy. Alicia Vikander is following Jennifer’s lead by assuming the role of Lara Croft in the remake of the Tomb Raider. She had won an Academy Award (The Danish Girl), and also received critical acclaim for her performances in Ex Machina and Testament of Youth.

As a result, Tomb Raider 2.0 has a versatile leading actress who is not only beautiful and dispatches her foes in a convincing fashion, but also has the emotional range to convince the viewers to invest in her character. Vikander’s accomplishments are all the more impressive because English isn’t even her native language, having been born and raised in Gothenburg, Sweden.

At the picture’s point of departure, we find Lara eking out a living in East London as a bike courier, and training to be a kickboxer in her free time. She doesn’t have to be so poor, because she’s the sole heir to a massive fortune that was left behind by her parents, Lady and Lord Croft.

While her mother is really dead, there’s no proof that her father (Dominic West) has died. Lord Croft was an archaeologist/explorer who disappeared seven years ago on an expedition to an uncharted island in the ocean off the coast of Japan. He was searching for a fabled tomb rumored to contain a key to a supernatural realm.

Instead of accepting that her father is dead, and  thereby becoming wealthy, she follows a set of mysterious clues that her father left behind that lead to a mysterious island. Upon arriving, she relies on her wits, and her acrobatic and archery skills, to survive in an epic fight to the death against Mathias Vogel (Walton Goggins) and his cohorts who are armed to the teeth.

Very Good (***). Rated PG-13 for violence and some profanity. In English and Cantonese with subtitles. Running time: 118 minutes. Production Studios: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/Warner Brothers Pictures/GK Fims/Square Enix. Distributor: Warner Brothers Pictures.