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Film: Tomb Raider

In Theaters: March 6th

Starring: Alicia Vikander, Walton Goggins, Daniel Wu, and Dominic West Director: Roar Uthaug Review: Maria Agostini Rating: 4X's out of 5X's

What do we want from a good action-adventure film based on a video game: awesome action sequences, amazing visual effects, a strong protagonist, and the laws of physics broken. Tomb Raider does all of this and more when bringing to life the classic video game. Tomb Raider is a spin-off of the video game that was released in 1996. The original spin-off film, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, was released in 2001 and featured Angelina Jolie as the overly sexualized Lara Croft. This adaptation, however, gives us the true origin story we’ve been wanting. We see Lara, played by Alicia Vikander, travel across the world in search of answers to her father's disappearance. After learning of her father’s active search for an ancient tomb, Lara soon finds herself entangled in a web of secrets that leads her on a quest that causes her to question what she knew about her father. In order to survive, Lara must channel her inner strength and stand against a dangerous group of mercenaries and stop their nefarious scheme.

Alicia Vikander did a wonderful job portraying a strong-willed, determined, and courageous Lara Croft. Though Lara is portrayed as a strong-minded, athletic, and wise young woman, she is not a master of fighting and makes mistakes on her journey. These mistakes help her to grow and we see Lara mature in many ways and become the Lara Croft we know today. What made the portrayal even more impressive was knowing that Vikander did many of her own stunts. In some scenes, Vikander battled through injuries and hypothermia while filming. Having Vikander actually struggle through scenes, such as the storm at sea, made the film more intense and realistic. The film also gives you the feel of a video game as you see Lara sneak into camp sites, solve ancient puzzles, and battle against mercenaries. As you watch, you will see many video game like qualities that reflect the films origins.

Though Tomb Raider features a strong female lead, a stronger female presence was needed within the supporting cast. At the beginning of the film, we meet several women that Lara knows at a gym, but we don’t see them again even though they were supporting Lara in her journey as a fighter. The only other woman we meet is Ana Miller, played by Kristin Scott Thomas, who once worked for Lara’s father. Though the end does hint at a sequel that will feature more female leads, it would have been nice to see more strong female characters fight alongside Lara. Another minor issue is that Lara’s motives for going on her journey were never clearly stated. Did she go to find the truth about her father or continue his research? If this was clarified, the journey of Lara would have been more understandable.

Tomb Raider is truly a must-see film for those who love a great adventure, love the video games, love a strong female lead, or love a good Indiana Jones like character. To best be part of the action, I recommend seeing the film in IMAX and not sitting too high up or far from the screen, this will immerse you in the film and allows you to fight alongside Lara on her adventures. Tomb Raider hits theaters on March 16th.


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