The successful Tomb Raider series has brought with it a plethora of multi-format games, novels and films since its release in 1996. With its film release bringing Angelina Jolie to the forefront as the smart, powerful and beautiful Croft. 2016 brought us news of the reboot of the series which would see one of films most well-known heroines return to the big screen. This news was followed by that of Alicia Vikander take up the role as the new Lara Croft. With its 16 March release date fast approaching, and the second trailer recently released, it is more than worth assessing what we can expect from the new Tomb Raider.
A complete reboot of the original series, the film will follow the first expedition of Croft as she attempts to further and complete her father’s research. In doing so, she unearths ancient mysteries and secrets which bring with them perilous danger. Opting for a reboot and, therefore, a familiar plot is, in my opinion, a good decision as ultimately this has poised as an opportunity to bring a favoured character back to the screens but presented as an entirely different entity to the character we first saw.
Reimagining Lara Croft
We need go no further in noticing the changes in the new Tomb Raider than looking at Lara Croft herself. In its initial game release, Croft became the biggest and most recognisable video-game heroine and was hypersexualised from the outset. This carried over into the films with Angelina Jolie who, whilst putting in strong and very watchable performances in the role, was often credited for her beauty and alluring nature before her great intelligence and immense combat skill. The new film sees us follow an equally beautiful woman in Vikander, however with a focus on her as a character, the development of her relationships with those around her and the highlighting of her immense abilities as an adventurer.
The film's cast is not glittered with stardom but is strong and is likely to provide many entertaining performances. Vikander always provides strong performance whenever she’s on screen, with her outings in Ex-Machina, The Danish Girl and A Royal Affair amongst many others making her a familiar and reliable performer at the top level. The inclusion of Dominic West adds an intriguing aspect to the film. Cast as Croft’s father Richard, the idea of him going the entirety of a film without at least one betrayal or reveal as a terribly awful person is alien to me. So, I’m interested to see how his role plays out, especially in conjunction with Walton Goggins who we follow as the rival archaeologist to Richard Croft.
In totality, I do not expect the film to be a world beater, or to sweep up at the next round of awards. But I expect it will be a remarkably entertaining action-adventure film. I have no doubt the brimming with action, death-defying moments and to see Croft brilliantly evade and escape those meaning to catch her. It will be exciting to see an icon return to the screens after fifteen years.
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