Alicia Vikander: Society's outlook on women has progressed

Peter Castro
March 15, 2018

"We simply can't wait to take you on Lara Croft's defining adventure".

Her Lara grew up largely without a mother and with an adoring but often-absent father, Richard (Dominic West), a wealthy businessman who began searching for proof of the supernatural following the loss of his wife.

Initially conceived as a man, Lara Croft ultimately sprang from the mind of Core Design animator Toby Gard in response to the male-dominated arena of action-adventure games. With his involvement in Tomb Raider, Goggins was fulfilling a childhood fantasy spurred by a love of treasure hunting films, namely John Huston's 1948 film The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. Some of his lines are even delivered twice, and they don't work either time. "Since TR classic is on Steam, we will use the game data from there". It does none of it any favors.

Characterization isn't exactly Tomb Raider's strong point, either. This leads to a disappointing pay-off for a promising character, who is nearly entirely absent from the films third act.

Urban London Lara, despite being bad at boxing, is clever and daring, with skills to back up her confidence.

Tomb Raider isn't going to change the trend.

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Uthaug's initially appealing romp opens in an urban-interesting landscape that has a beguiling grittiness about it, but it isn't long before it tumbles into clich├ęd exotic surrounds, complete with banal exposition and Lara dodging as many plot holes as darkly lit booby traps.

That seems to fit in with the movie's mixed critical reactions so far. The best you could say is that the film is about her learning to accept her father's death. Lara has those big breasts in the game.

If only she had those qualities for the whole movie.

I appreciate all of the effort put into this film about trying to make it an empowering female action film, the problem is that in many ways we have seen people evolve the "Lara Croft" type character better, including the games themselves. The appeal of the game was how it turned the titular raider of tombs into a three-dimensional character, showing her early development from a young woman with a penchant for exploring into a resource, resilient action-archaeologist. No, it's the rusting shell of a crashed airplane perched on top of a huge waterfall that Lara uses to escape a raging river torrent, and where her uncertain abilities, muddled mindset and dark humour finally come to mean something within the scattershot narrative. All of these worked to underpin already engaging gameplay with an enjoyable narrative weight and emotional stakes. After getting bailed out by her family's associate Ana Miller, played by Kristin Scott Thomas, Lara decides to sign the papers declaring her father dead. She did, however, write that the dialogue isn't completely top-notch; for her, it's "a mix of clunky action-movie exposition and winking Indiana Jones-style humor". However, he did commend Vikander as a shining star, noting that she "fully embodies physical tenacity and grit, along with absolute determination not to give in or up", and that she "makes Tomb Raider sort of watchable". As a result, it was only a matter of time before Lara Croft was dusted off and revamped for a modern day audience.

Unfortunately, the "Tomb Raider" trilogy remasters will be based on the mobile versions only, which means they will not look as good as players are hoping.

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