I didn't grow up playing Tomb Raider, and I hadn't seen the 2001 film adaptation before seeing this year's film. I wasn't alone; neither had Walton Goggins, who plays Lara's nemesis, Mathias, in the film.
Similar to Walton, I was able to go into the film with a clean slate — no preconceived notions of how Lara was supposed to act or look. Of course, I knew how Angelina Jolie looked as the character. Who could forget those posters? As someone who is admittedly not a huge gamer, I wasn't sure what the movie might have to offer to someone like me.
I can't speak for those who closely follow the source material, but what I can say is that Tomb Raider had the action to keep things exciting, the emotion to pull at the heartstrings, and the heroine to hold the film together from start to finish. Oftentimes, action films can seem unrealistic. In this case, tiny details were strewn throughout the film so the viewer could believe that 5'5" woman could kick some serious ass against all odds.
Alicia Vikander plays a strong, resilient, and relatable Lara Croft. There are no sexy outfit changes. One thing I appreciated was that this was a true action movie, and I don't mean in the bedroom — there were no random love scenes in this film, which tend to pop up from time to time when studios think women need a "love story" to stay interested. In fact, there isn't a love interest at all. The love story revolves around Lara's relationship with her father.
Lara captivates the audience with her wit and intelligence, not her beauty. The film follows a 21-year-old Lara on her first tomb-raiding mission, which she embarks on in the hopes of finding her father. While signing papers that not only legally make Lara the new owner of Croft Holdings but also serve as a confirmation of her father's death, Lara receives a sign from him, and her mission begins. Lara encounters plenty of tribulations, fight sequences, and puzzles along the way, including a stomach-churning plane scene that is not for those with a fear of heights. (Trust me.)
Speaking with Alicia and Walton at the junket for the movie, she explained the importance of playing a strong female character like Lara; Walton attested that he was raised by strong women, and it made him proud to be a part of the movie. Check out the interview with both Alicia and Walton, and let us know your thoughts on the movie in the comments below.