Alicia Vikander’s Tomb Raider released in India today. Tomb Raider is a reboot of the Angelina Jolie starrer Lara Croft movies, and both the movies are based on the video game series of the same name. Looking at the trailers and posters of the Alicia Vikander starrer, it is safe to assume that the new film is a lot edgier than its successors, and yes, Lara certainly looks different. The iconic short shorts have been replaced by pants, but the penchant for doing crazy action remains.
When the first Lara Croft movie featuring Hollywood superstar Angelina Jolie hit the screens, people went crazy. Women worshipped Croft because she was a badass, and men, men also found her, well, attractive. But to be fair, 2001 Lara Croft: Tomb Raider was all in all a sad throwback to the 90s, and hung lightly on a badly-written script. The writing did not have clarity, lacked humour and subtlety, and failed to deliver what was promised.
What, till this day, remains the saving grace of those movies is Lara herself. Yes, it is Angelina Jolie that I’m talking about. Her charisma and hard work made the films bearable. And for that, we have to thank director Simon West, who apparently fought for the actor to star in the series.
“There hadn’t been a female lead of an action-adventure film that had carried a film (by herself recently), and Angelina wasn’t as big as some of the other actresses that were up for the part, who’d done bigger films and had a longer track record and bigger box-office grosses. … Some of their [images] were safer than Angelina’s, whose was quite dangerous. She had all sorts of thing written about her—some obviously not true. She was a young woman experimenting”, West told Entertainment Weekly in a recent interview.
West had also said in the same interview that he never wanted to sexualise Lara Croft, which would have resulted in the death of the character. But fans still remember, some with fondness, and some with visible cringe, the oft-discussed shower scene of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. Let’s just say this, the scene (if at all it needed to be there, the whole 30 seconds of it), could have been shot differently. A little more tastefully, if I may add.
This is not to imply that the said scene is vulgar, no Sir, but it is indeed full of that cringe (for a lack of a better word). Jolie just whips back her head Baywatch style in the scene, and shakes her hair from side to side. The whole thing begs better direction.
The action sequences are watchable, they are okay for a 2001 release. Particularly, in the scene where Lara defends the manor from the attack, the shots are timed well, and everything belongs in the movie. Nothing feels awkward or out of place.
There are a few scenes that strike the target. For instance, when Lara meets her father in an alternative reality, and they have a touching father-daughter moment. The role of Lara’s father was co-incidentally played by her real-life father, actor Jon Voight.
According to Screen Rant, Jolie underwent a drug test for the movie. And not just one test. During the entire filming process, the actor had to reportedly prove that she was not under the influence.
Jolie had allegedly said to West (the director of the film), “Look, I want to do it, but I know what my reputation is, and I’ll do anything you want to prove that I’m worthy. I’ll be reliable, and I’ll turn up, and I’ll work hard.”
The new Tomb Raider stars Alicia Vikander in the titular role and features Dominic West, Nick Frost, and Daniel Wu in pivotal roles.