Hard to believe that it's all of 17 years since Angelina Jolie ambled around the cineplexes of the planet as the star of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. Compared to your average Spider-Man reboot, this one has taken forever to arrive.
But was it worth the wait? I certainly think so.
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Here, the wonderful Alicia Vikander takes on the Lara Croft mantle, and – typically – gives everything to the role. As anyone who's seen her in films as diverse as The Danish Girl and Ex Machina will tell you, the Swede punches well above her weight, and here she does that in a more literal sense as her limbs do most of the work. It's that kind of film.
The physical demands are obvious from the outset. Tomb Raider opens with Vikander's Lara Croft getting a hiding in kick-boxing, and it's (almost literally) all downhill, downstream and really up against it after that. This is relentless action entertainment, with more CGI set-ups than you'd see at a Pixar convention.
The plot's basically about Lara finding her true path as she goes from being a reckless, fatherless tearaway to travelling half the world to solve the mystery of her dad's disappearance and his research into Himiko, the mythical Queen of Yamatai – said to command the power over life and death. The things you gotta do, eh?
The supporting cast is fine, if their characters are a little underdeveloped – not that that matters, really, as it's all about the action here. Dominic West more or less plays himself as posh daddy Croft, while a bearded Walton Goggins proves once again that he should always be typecast as a loveable-ish rogue. He's very good at it.
Tomb Raider is damn good fun, and Alicia Vikander is just brilliant in everything she does. So there.
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