Those who know me know I’m a read this Tomb Raider fan. I played all the games, love the movies, collected the comic books, replica gear, and action figures, and was an avid Lara cosplayer back in the day for contests and cons.

Well acted and well directed Tomb Raider origin story This year’s Tomb Raider – 2018 pulls the entire IP together with a totally believable Lara Croft. Brilliantly acted, it fleshes out Lara with an updated backstory and character arc that is touching and heartfelt.

Gone are the campy villains of previous cinematic portrayals. Lara faces a truly desperate psychopath in her quest to discover the fate of her father. She gathers friends and allies that support her with similar excellent acting.

Gone is the pandering body padding. Instead, we are treated to an athletic protagonist capable of meeting the realistic and improbable physical challenges that confront her. Reckless, vulnerable, ambitious, brave, independent, charismatic, and a little naive, Alicia Vikander as young Lara brings her origin story to life.

True to the game

Without pulling punches (literally), this movie magically incorporates both classic and contemporary game memes with a Lara who redefines today’s vibrant female hero. It’s got action, puzzles, and pathos with a mere touch of humor. If you played the game, you’ll feel your hands twitch at the controls as you recognize sequences you played many times. Yet, none of it feels contrived or superfluous to the plot.

A sad drawback

Back in my childhood, pistol packing cowboys facing down the evil doers in shootouts were daily fare on television. Much like the western heroes of yesteryear, Lara Croft has been the virtual representation of fearless female heroism. She has embodied strength and defiance in the face of abuse and violence for thousands of women, young and old. Unfortunately, we live in a time of rising gun violence in the U.S. People are victims of multiple shootings on average every single day here. So there is a dark shadow that taints my enjoyment of the Lara Croft meme.

For those who do not like to see violence on the screen, Tomb Raider has fist fights and shootings. I would definitely not recommend it for kids. The physical fighting is often brutally real. (I hide my eyes for those parts.)

I am a believer in non-violence in real life. But I do fear for those who cannot separate reality from fantasy and myth. Nonetheless, for those of us who do have healthy mental boundaries, this movie is a great vicarious adventure where the bad guys are decimated as a result of their own greed by a young woman too stubborn and too honorable to give up.

Stands up to multiple viewings

I just finished watching Tomb Raider 2018 for the 3rd time on the big screen, and it holds up to close scrutiny. In fact, I like it more each time I see it. There are a couple of lines I would have edited out, but over all, it’s a serious action adventure story with a likable protagonist. It offers a fresh retelling of a popular story and still pays homage to the intellectual property with excellent production values. I can’t wait for the sequel.

Tomb Raider 2018 Movie Poster

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