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TOMB RAIDER (2018)

SYNOPSIS:
Lara Croft (Alicia Vikander) is the independent spirited daughter of an eccentric adventurer (Dominic West) who vanished years ago, when she was scarcely a teen. Now a young woman of 21 without any real focus or purpose, Lara refuses to take the reins of her father's global empire just as staunchly as she rejects the idea that he's truly gone. Leaving everything she knows behind, Lara goes in search of her dad's last-known destination: a fabled tomb on a mythical island that might be somewhere off the coast of Japan.

Review by Louise Keller:
It is hard to believe that it is 17 years since Angelina Jolie became the 21st Century version of The Terminator's Sarah Connor in Lara Croft: Tombraider. She embraced the interactive video game heroine with curvaceous abandon, athleticism and style: sexy, sassy and all- woman. As I wrote in my review in 2001: 'She is cool but oh so hot'. The sequel two years later offered more of the same. Lara was invincible and Jolie terrific in the role.

So what could Norwegian filmmaker Roar Uthaug bring to this new version of the tale? And how would Alicia Vikander place her unique stamp on it? Happily, the talented Vikander has kept her individuality in her portrayal of the strong-willed daughter of the eccentric adventurer, who mysteriously disappears. Lara has been humanised and is less of a cartoon character, which means that the stakes are higher. This new Tomb Raider plays out like an Indiana Jones-style adventure, complete with bow and arrow action, pulsating rhythms, chase sequences - in exotic settings. There is a lot of running, too.

The story begins in London, where Lara's pragmatic approach to life is established. There are no airs and graces for this heiress. She has an independent devil may care approach. The fox hunt sequence in which Lara navigates London's streets as a bike courier carrying a fox tail on the back of her bike has a nice energy.

The action begins as Lara follows clues that lead her to her missing father's final destination. These include a Japanese puzzle box and a video message. There's a boat trip to the Devil's Sea; conflict in the jungle; leaps into waterfalls; descending into a tomb. Lara is skilled in martial arts with no shortage of courage. She leaps before she looks - and there is a lot of leaping. Hanging on by one arm.

Vikander, a former ballerina, undertook seven months of intense training for the role, and looks fit and fabulous - every inch an athletic goddess. Amid the action and melee of characters that keep us engaged and amused in varying degrees, lies a soft heart: the relationship between Lara and her father (Dominic West).

Some of the action sequences are too orchestrated and the music cues heavy handed with an overzealous percussion. But this is Vikander's film and much can be forgiven because of her luminous presence.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 1

TOMB RAIDER (2018) (M)
(UK/US, 2018)

CAST: Alicia Vikander, Dominic West, Walton Goggins, Daniel Wu, Kristin Scott Thomas, Derek Jacobi

PRODUCER: Graham King

DIRECTOR: Roar Uthaug

SCRIPT: Geneva Robertson-Dworet, Alastair Siddons (story by Evan Daugherty, Geneva Robertson-Dworet)

CINEMATOGRAPHER: George Richmond

EDITOR: Stuart Baird, Tom Harrison-Read, Michael Tronick

MUSIC: Junkie XL

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Gary Freeman

RUNNING TIME: 118 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: March 15, 2018







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