The new Tomb Raider movie is a feminist Indiana Jones. Starring Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft, the rough-edged adventurer who is on a quest to find her missing father, Tomb Raider is the definition of an action-packed thriller.
The film starts with Croft losing a wrestling match in her local gym, the owner coming up to her after and threatening not to allow her in anymore unless she pays her dues. She works as a bike courier for an Indian restaurant and after a delivery, she signs up for a race despite the doubts of the men who inform her of it. In one of the coolest bicycle chase scenes in cinematic history, Croft rides through the streets of London, toting a can of paint and a fox tail while cutting through impossible corners as she is chased by hoards of fellow bikers.
However, Croft’s future isn’t in competitive bike riding. She is soon after convinced to sign documents that will put her father’s highly successful company into her possession. Seven years prior, he had gone missing on an international trip, but when Croft goes to sign the papers, she is given an ancient puzzle that leads her to her father’s hidden office. She discovers his whereabouts and goes to find out the truth about his disappearance. In the process she navigates treacherous oceans, escapes imprisonment by an evil conman, and almost plummets to her death countless times.
There is so much raw suspense and jaw-dropping action throughout the entire movie that it is practically impossible not to enjoy it. Plus, Lara Croft is the ultimate action movie star and proves that women can be even more kick-ass than their male counterparts. It is so refreshing to see a young woman as the protagonist in an adventure thriller, and there is no woman better than Vikander to fill the role. She is perfect at playing a smart, strong, independent woman on a mission, and there is no sort of love interest on the side to distract her.
The only issue with the film is the script, which was full of clichéd lines and lacked any real substance. Most parts were predictable, and it felt like it could’ve been copied from any other action movie of the past. That might be why it felt so much like Indiana Jones; most of the lines were exactly the same. The one good thing about it, as previously mentioned, is that the writers didn’t put any major romantic side plot into the film. The only relationship Croft is pursuing is the one with her father, and after seeing so many action movies where some sort of romantic relationship is thrown in just for distraction purposes, it was a relief to see an action movie without it—especially one where a woman is in the lead, proving that ladies don’t need men to further a plot line.
Tomb Raider really is a must-see movie, especially if you’re looking for empowered women and really cool chase scenes. The script may not be very smart, but the protagonist sure is, and Croft’s likability helps drive the entire film. It’s exciting, entertaining, and will leave you on the edge of your seat to the very end.