"This Tomb Raider Has a Heart"
TOMB RAIDER is a fun update of the popular video game series, which tells an origin story about how Lara Croft, the wiry young heroine, searches for her missing father, finds more than she expected and becomes the adventurer she was meant to be. TOMB RAIDER is better and more exhilarating than the two previous Lara Croft movies. It features a strong, morally uplifting story with a touching reunion between a father and his daughter, but there’s some foul language, intense action violence and several minor mythological references.
The movie opens with Lara working for a bicycle delivery service in London. Quickly, the movie reveals that Lara’s father disappeared seven years ago, when she was 14, after leaving on a mysterious business trip. The movie also reveals that Lara is the heir to a vast family fortune, but she’s refused to take the inheritance because it would mean she has to admit her father is dead.
However, Lara is struggling financially, so she finally decides to go see the lawyer to sign the papers. Just as she’s about to sign, the lawyer hands her one of those wooden Chinese puzzle boxes her father loved giving to her as a child. She immediately knows how to open the puzzle fox and finds a key.
Lara immediately rushes out of the lawyer’s office to the family manor, where she finds a secret opening in the crypt where her mother is buried. Putting the key in the opening, she discovers her father’s secret office below, where she finds a video tape left by her father. On the tape, her father tells her that, if she’s watching the video, it means that he’s passed away. He expresses his love for Lara and tells her to immediately burn all the papers in a box labeled after an ancient Japanese princess. The legend of the princess says she was a dark sorcerer, so soldiers locked her up in a tomb on a Japanese island with a thousand handmaidens to serve her in the afterlife. Her father says he became obsessed with the supernatural after Lara’s mother died. He warns her that an evil organization named Trinity is trying to find the lost tomb of the princess and use whatever powers buried with her to rule the world.
In the box, Lara finds a letter from a Chinese boat owner offering to take her father to the island, for 20,000 U.S. dollars. Lara pawns an expensive jade amulet her father gave her to go to Honk Kong and follow her father’s trail.
When she finally gets to the island, Lara finds much more there than she anticipated. The adventure will change her destiny.
It’s clear that Warner Bros. Pictures wants to rebuild Lara Croft into a lucrative movie franchise, so moviegoers will go into this new TOMB RAIDER with the expectation that Lara will somehow survive. That said, how she survives is a big part of the fun.
The good news is that this TOMB RAIDER is a whole lotta fun. It’s definitely more fun and better crafted than the two Lara Croft movies made in 2001 and 2003. Alicia Vikander makes a spunky, charming Lara Croft. She also turns out to be tough as nails, smart and beautiful. The filmmakers have added a sweet, very touching father-daughter story to drive the plot. They do a great job introducing these two characters and the bond they clearly share.
The exciting new TOMB RAIDER has a very strong moral worldview centered on the father-daughter relationship in the story. Lara and her father (played very nicely by Dominic West) also have to save the world from some very bad guys, led by the always reliable Walter Goggins.
TOMB RAIDER does have some foul language and intense action violence. Lara has to survive a huge storm at sea, a gigantic waterfall and bad guys with machine guns. Also, the real story behind the legend of the Japanese princess has some unique, world-threatening dangers of its own. Finally, TOMB RAIDER has some brief references to the supernatural, to magical powers and to an afterlife, but there is no false theology or religion, paganism or endorsement of occult powers, unlike the two Lara Croft movies in 2001 and 2003. Neither is there any overt Christian content, however.
Movieguide® advises caution for older children for TOMB RAIDER.
TOMB RAIDER is a fun update of the popular video game series. An origin story, it tells how Lara Croft goes in search of her missing father, who went on a wild goose chase looking for the tomb of an ancient Japanese princess said to be a great sorcerer. According to legend, soldiers entombed her on an island because of her deadly powers. With help from a young Hong Kong boat owner, Lara gets to the island, where they’re captured by gun-toting agents of a secret organization looking for the tomb. What is the truth behind the legend of the Japanese princess?
TOMB RAIDER is a whole lotta fun. Alicia Vikander makes a spunky, charming Lara Croft. She turns out to be tough as nails, smart and beautiful. The filmmakers have added a sweet, touching father-daughter story to the plot. So, TOMB RAIDER has a strong moral worldview. There is some foul language, however, and intense action violence. Lara has to survive a huge storm at sea, a gigantic waterfall and bad guys with machine guns. MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for older children.