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'Tomb Raider' offers Vikander, but not much else

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Actress Alicia Vikander in the new ‘Tomb Raider’ movie her first blockbuster role

Based on the successful video game franchise, Tomb Raider features Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft, the fiercely independent daughter of a missing adventurer, who must push herself beyond her limits when she finds herself on the island where her father disappeared.

The 2018 Tomb Raider film resets Lara Croft (Vikander) as a free-spirited, wayward youth. She is punched in the face, and in the stomach, she is thrown against rocks and sent careening through a forest, she is impaled, hit by a vehicle, left in an impossible one-handed dead hang at least four times, and she is choked, really choked, by both men and women alike. In two earlier films, in 2001 and 2003, Lara was played by an unblushingly sultry Angelina Jolie, whose body was strategically padded out for the part in order to meet a 15-year-old boy's standard of pulchritude. Along the way, she must evade villain Mathias Vogel (Walton Goggins), the leader of an expedition hired to locate Himiko's tomb and give the remains to Trinity, a shady corporation that wants to rule the world. Considering this is a more grounded and realistic take on the character, Vikander's performance doesn't need those qualities.

Video game movies are always hit or miss.

Vikander on finding the core of Lara's motivations and how it carries her throughout the film as she goes from reluctant heiress to figuring out what the real family business is.

SDG Reviews 'Tomb Raider'
Tomb Raider lacks punch in relaunch

Wall Street Journal: The greatest distinction of "Tomb Raider" may be its trombones.

The 2013 video game reboot of Tomb Raider was really something special. For some reason - maybe it's a effect of staring for so long at the smooth, dead-eyed faces of Don, Eric, Ivanka, and Jared - I found her ridiculous insistence on living by her wits and on her merits as worthy of a standing ovation. Many of us at Mondo are huge fans who grew up adoring the TOMB RAIDER games, so when the opportunity came up to develop a poster for the new film, we were absolutely stoked. Vogel takes Lara prisoner, reveals that he killed her father and intends to use Richard's research she brought with her to finally find the tomb. Let us know what you think. The plot focuses around Lara Croft's connection with her father. There's also a fair amount of violence, although as Lara is relatively new to this perilous line of work, there's very little that's casual about the carnage.

Alicia Vikander has done many things before 30. Rise of the Tomb Raider, the game's predecessor, was an Xbox timed exclusive, with the game eventually making its way to the PS4 and PC months after its initial release.

While Tomb Raider hints at supernatural elements to the Mother of Death's curse, the truth is much more science-based, as Lara discovers. But Jolie was never the thing that was wrong with the original two Tomb Raider films - in fact, according to most critics, she was the only thing those movies got right: Commanding, charismatic and bad-ass, she redefined the character and our image of her even as she was swinging and climbing and kicking her way through mediocre films.

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