Sunday, 15 April 2018

Tomb Raider

Ever since the first Lara Croft Video Game was released back in 1996, Lara has been a major part of gaming and popular culture. Such significance was its impact that it got the attention of people who didn’t even play video games (my mum for instance) and many of those people were women. Perhaps the attention it got from women was that fact that a woman was the central character (a rarity in that era). As time went on the games were criticised for their oversexualised depiction of Lara. I for one never sexualised Lara, a) because I was under 10 last time I played it and b. I’m just not turned on by pixeled boobs.

The video game franchise has seen only two film versions of the Lara Croft character. With Angelina Jolie in the leading role, the films were not well received. It is well over a decade since the last Lara Croft film came out, and quite a lot has changed. People have become more vocal in the depiction of women in both the video game and film industries (especially since video games are seeing an increase in female players as it becomes more mainstream).

This leads to Alicia Vikander’s reincarnation of the iconic character. Alicia’s Lara is one of the film's main highlights as Vikander depicts her as someone who is powerful and resourceful, but not indestructible. She needs help, she can’t do this on her own but needing help isn’t her define characteristic. The effect this has is it makes her human and not superhuman making her feel like a real person. This just makes Lara into a far more rounded character.

Alicia also looks the part as well (she flashes her six-pack abs early on in the film). To prepare for the physical demands of the role she went through an arduous training programme, helped by a famous PT (that what fame and fortune gets you), to get that perfect body for a hard as nails Lara Croft. Criticism can be aimed at the film for Lara being the only female character of note. It is said having a female lead is all well and good, but somewhat pointless if she is the only female in the cast, but Lara’s resourcefulness and genuine humanity (with strengths and weakness) makes her a worthy female character.

Aside from a decent leading performance and engageable lead character the film is exactly as you’d expected. The action scenes have quality to them, but there is a little too much of Lara barely hanging on above a drop that it eventually becomes tiresome. The first venture into the tomb builds up the tension well and harks back to the Indiana Jones films. It’s decent stuff, where the calibre of the actors carry the film.


1 comment:

  1. Great review! I kind of forgot about this movie but it's one I'll be saving for a rainy day I think.