Tomb Raider reboot starring Alicia Vikander is nothing like the Angelina Jolie films ... fortunately [Review]

By Ben Young

Supporting cast also gets the job done, while action sequences are over-the-top but satisfying

By Ben Young |

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Raiding tombs involves a lot more bow and arrows than you would think.

Tomb Raider offers drastic improvements as a reboot to 2001’s, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider with a real narrative structure, and a far better sense of pacing and purpose. The film also features a fantastic cast of acclaimed actors who finally get the chance to showcase their skills in a massive global blockbuster.

Lara Croft (Alicia Vikander) is a feisty 21-year-old who, lacking a sense of direction in life, decides to follow her father’s adventuring footsteps. Academy Award winner Vikander (who won Best Actress in a Supporting Role in 2016 for The Danish Girl) proves that her combination of beauty, physical presence and raw acting chops can work as well in a mainstream blockbuster as they do in an emotional and "serious" film.

Meanwhile, Dominic West delivers his most significant performance since his days in HBO’s acclaimed series The Wire as Richard Croft, Lara’s mysterious but loving father who lives a dual life as an adventuring archaeologist and business tycoon.

Watson Goggins delivers a chilling performance as Mathias Vogel, a psychotic rival archaeologist and member of Trinity, a shadowy organisation with their sights set on world domination.

Hong Kong’s own Daniel Wu was given the role of Lu Ren, a ship captain and eventual ally of Lara’s. His performance wasn’t spectacular, but it was still nice to see a Hongkonger receive a major role in a big Hollywood blockbuster.

The action scenes ranged from silly to gut wrenching - from an outrageous robbery scene on the shores of Hong Kong (because Hong Kong is SUCH a crime-filled city, right?) to Lara’s thrilling jump, climb and tomb escape sequences that are no doubt an homage to the critically acclaimed Tomb Raider video game series on which the film is based

The plot isn’t exactly rich, but it’s cohesive and is accompanied by a fantastic soundtrack that adds to the film’s powerful drama, and also thrill factor. Aside from some cheesy and cliché scenes, Tomb Raider is an old school adventure/thriller with a nice comedic touch and some brilliant cinematography that makes it worth watching.

Edited by Jamie Lam