Lara Croft is back and stronger than ever in ‘Tomb Raider’

John Chavez

Reboots seem to be all the rage in Hollywood today. The newest one coming out of tinsle town this week is Roar Uthaug’s “Tomb Raider.” Uthaug gives audiences a reasonably entertaining movie.

The Tomb Raider franchise that gave way to this film started with video games in the late 1990’s. In the early 2000’s, Angelina Jolie stared in a movie based on the games, which also shared the game’s overly-sexy female protagonist.

Then the video games themselves underwent a reboot of their own, mercifully ditching the hyper-sexualised star Lara Croft. It is on this recent reboot that this film is based.

In the film, Lara Croft, the daughter of a rich history buff who went missing, sets off to find him. As she searches for him, she becomes embroiled in a plot to uncover an ancient evil that could curse the whole Earth.

In the past few years, Hollywood has been introducing many strong, independent female leads, and “Tomb Raider” is no exception. Alicia Vikander does an excellent job of portraying the main character, Lara Croft. She is strong, holds her own, and gives an overall fantastic performance. She portrays emotion well, as well as the fierceness we have come to expect from the character. It is safe to say that Vikander’s performance mostly carries the whole film. Daniel Wu’s character also does a good job in his respective roll, as does Dominic West, who plays Lara’s father.

The action sequences of the film were great. They appeared often enough so the movie didn’t drag, and weren’t too often enough to be disorienting. So, as far as pacing goes, the film holds up well.

What really hurts the film is the plot, the story that is told is very unoriginal. Sequences and scenes were all taken from previous films in this genre.

For instance, a distant father obsesses and eventually stumbles on the location of a mysterious artifact that an evil faction also seeks.

The father’s child goes looking for him, and, inadvertently gives the bad guys the location of the artifact.

After reuniting with him, the protagonist and the father are forced by the evil faction to venture into an ancient, trap laden structure to the artifact itself. When the artifact is touched by a villain, they rot and decay before their eyes.

This is the basic plot structure of two movies, “Tomb Raider,” and “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.” Simply replace Croft with Jones, and the two are remarkably similar.

Granted, there is not much you can do that wasn’t already done with these kind of movies, but some originality has to be achieved for it to be worthwhile. Unfortunately, this lack of creativity really hurt the film. Audiences could easily predict where the plot would go because they have seen it already.

“Tomb Raider,” despite its blatant unoriginality, still is worth the price of admission. The acting and action sequences make it worthwhile, even though they are all predictable. 3 out of 5 stars.