Lara Croft Tomb Raider was a computer game icon in the 1990s and into the 2000s. She was a revolution in heroines and games but also redefined what a character could, neigh should do. Physical attributes and brain teasing puzzles mixed together with a dubious story about treasures and ancient mythical beings. Then followed 2 films. Both were successful to a point and gave Oscar winner and now director Angelina Jolie a new angle in her career. Flash forward 10 years and Alicia Vikander, another Oscar winning actress, has taken the role on. The story brought forward here sees Lara as a depressed twenty something. She has lost her father to one of his missions to an isle in the middle of the Pacific. She has rejected the role of explorer and is now a bicycle courier. Though things seem fine when her father is declared dead. Lara is about to be handed over his assets, when a puzzle box opens her eyes to something that might explain where her father is and why he is there.
Lara Croft Tomb Raider plays on the father role models of past incarnations but turns up the action some what. We have mysterious islands, we have puzzles, clues and Croft on a variety of vehicles and terrains. We also have bullets and battles, styled fast and fierce. All of this we expect and yes it is the same old, same old. However it needs to be mentioned that some elements raise above the film. The first is Vikander. She gives us a Croft with bite, brawn and thought. Though her accent waves around a lot, her core performance serves the film very well indeed. The second is Daniel Wu. He is by turns funny and dynamic. He is a great side kick and fall guy. He pratt falls with ease and then shoots and slays with vigour. Its impressive to have this range and to do it without tiring or pulling focus from Vikander. The third is that soundtrack. A massive arching beast that links everything well enough. The fourth is cinematographer Richmond, who lets light work in the jungle and dark work in the sea. Very good. However all this doesnt hold the film up. It fails because it is just a poorly written film that goes by the number too often.