One of the most successful video game franchises of all time is the Tomb Raider series. Launching in 1996, Tomb Raider spawned countless sequel games and reboots and is more popular today than ever. Two films were made in 2001 and 2003 with Angelina Jolie in the lead role, but they failed to really capture the spirit of the games. Fast forward to this year and a new reboot starring Alicia Vikander as the young adventurer and while the film may not have performed as well as expected domestically, it went on to perform very well in the rest of the world almost tripling its budget.
Lara Croft (Vikander) is the fiercely independent daughter of a wealthy eccentric adventurer who vanished when Lara was young. Now 21, Lara has no interest in taking control of her father’s global empire but does take a keen interest when she finds out he may still be alive on a fabled island off the coast of Japan where he was last seen. Along with an aimless boat captain named Lu Ren (Daniel Wu), Lara sets off on her first great adventure and the beginning of what will become a life of one of the greatest explorers the world has known.
This time around Tomb Raider really hit the nail on the head. While I would have liked to have seen more exploring and actual ‘tomb raiding’, this film is a fantastic set up, a thrilling adventure with a great cast that also includes Dominic West and the great Walton Goggins, and a stellar lead in Alicia Vikander, who embodies the young Lara Croft perfectly. Vikander plays her as someone who is fully capable and determined, but by no means a superhero, Lara gets goes through some pretty rough physical trials here but always comes out on top. Check out Tomb Raider for a great adventure ride and what will hopefully be the opening chapter to a new adventure franchise. Highly recommended.