Angelina Jolie may have the looks, but this is Lara Croft the way I picture it.

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Directed by Roar Uthaug, Tomb Raider is the reboot to the Tomb Raider film franchise originally starred by Angelina Jolie. Given a more realistic look and feel, this film aims to yet again build another film universe while planting the foundations of a new Lara Croft.

7 years after the disappearance of her father Lord Richard Croft (Dominic West), Lara Croft (Alicia Vikander) uncovers a secret that leads to the hidden tomb of the ancient Japanese queen of death, Himiko. Believing it to be the only way to find her father, Lara travels to search for the so-called cursed tomb. There she gains the help of Lu Ren (Daniel Wu), a drunkard ship captain. Little did they know that a secret organization is also in search of the tomb, but they want for all the wrong reasons…

It was clear from the trailers, the posters, and the merchandise… This is a different Lara Croft. And I am simply talking about her…physique. It isn’t really much of an issue for me. What is truly important is the character. And I am happy to say that Vikander delivers as Croft. Just like the 2013 video game it is based on, this Lara Croft is still a neophyte when it comes to adventures and not as battle-hardened as gamers come to know.

Also a delight seeing Daniel Wu in a big budget movie. After his TV series Enter the Badlands, he really seems fit to be in more action movies.

As expected from a Tomb Raider movie, the set pieces are magnificent. Giant puzzle pieces, tombs, and elaborate death traps are sprinkled all over this film.

I also love how the film tries this back and forth approach on whether Himiko is a myth or reality.

However, some of the action pieces were not given proper lighting. The shipwreck of Lu Ren’s boat is a great example of that. I can imagine someone having a seizure after watching that scene.

Some CGI scenes were obvious, too…

And my ultimate gripe with this film is its ending. It was almost okay! But the film decides to tease us with a sequel….like how most big-budget movies are doing now. Just once, can’t we all have a film that stands on its own?

Tomb Raider manages to be solid enough that the sequel tease at the end gets a pass. This is…

GREAT GOOD BAD UGLY

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