In 2001, the video game character Lara Croft exploded onto the screen in the film “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider”, helmed by Director Simon West (Con Air, Black Hawk Down). While actress Angelina Jolie may have “filled” the action adventure characters' classic tight tank top, her translation has little to no depth and even worse dialogue to speak. Very early in the movie, we're treated to a pointless Jolie shower scene, which not only dates the movie to a pre “#metoo” environment, but destroys whatever credibility this character might have had. Traversing an overly complicated plot, multiple times you have to question why Croft does what she's doing, especially when she could have easily “saved the world” multiple times by doing nothing. Shoe horn in a weird unmotivated romance with a Pre-James Bond Daniel Craig and you got yourself a heck of late 90's relic.
Seventeen years later, a reboot simply called “Tomb Raider” was released, this time with Oscar Winner Alicia Vikander in the title role. While not a perfect film, the story is definitely more solid and Vikander is hard not to like. The script builds her character slowly and her motivations through out the film are clear. In a superhero-centric world, it's refreshing to watch Lara Croft perform awesome stunts and participate in action with no superpowers and feel real pain similar to her male lead counterparts in films like Die Hard and Rambo. Although her co-star Daniel Wu (Into the Badlands) is under used, its a pretty solid cast, with no one ever taking away from the focus of our lead. All in all, its a unique “Batman Begins” type origin story for the character and makes the idea of sequel interesting.
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