Lara Croft has been a pop culture icon since the first Tomb Raider game was released in 1996. We’ve all changed a bit since the 90s, though (some of us didn’t even exist then), and so it is with Lara. While she’s always a treasure-hunter, an action hero and a deadly shot, she’s a woman who moves with the times. In the new movie Tomb Raider, Lara’s first screen adventure in 15 years, we see a very different Ms. Croft…
She’s starting fresh
Tomb Raider takes Lara right back to the beginning. She’s not yet the fearless explorer but a young woman working out who she is. She’s lost both her parents and is trying to make the best of life on her own. She has all the skills we associate with Lara Croft – resilience, a taste for danger, a freakish knack for solving complex problems – but they’re still forming.
She’s played by an Oscar-winner
Alicia Vikander, Academy-Award winner for The Danish Girl, brings new depth to Lara. She’s every inch the action heroine, thanks to months of training, but also reveals sides of Lara we haven’t seen before. She shows the fear and pain that come with fighting huge numbers of gun-toting men all on your own. She gives us a Lara who fights because she has to, not because it’s a game.
She’s…a struggling bike courier?
We’re used to Lara being a billionaire, the daughter of aristocratic parents and heir to an absolute fortune, which funds her archeological expeditions. Things are a bit different here. Lara’s father is missing and she refuses to admit he’s dead. If she won’t admit he’s dead she can’t inherit his fortune, so she’s making ends meet in London by working as a cycle-courier and living in a poky flat rather than a stately home.
She kicks butt
One of Lara’s defining features has always been that she’s extremely handy in a fight, whether it’s against hordes of bad guys or a very grumpy cougar. The new Lara takes that to another level. She’s a trained kick-boxer, with the abs and bruises to prove it, and can handle herself in any situation. She’s also frighteningly good with a bow and arrow. She’s yet to adopt the thigh-holstered guns she’s famous for, so this movie shows her using her wits and invention to get herself out of some heart-pounding danger.
She’s her own woman
Traditionally, when it comes to action-adventure movies, the hero or heroine will meet someone a bit sexy and flirty amid all the gunfights and fall in love. There seems to be a belief that a character isn’t interesting unless they’re mooning over someone. Not the case in this film. Lara doesn’t have time to be romancing anyone; she’s too busy trying to find what became of her dad and avoid being killed. Not a very date-friendly situation. She’s 100% focused on the mission. Single-minded. Unstoppable. A Lara Croft for 2018.
Tomb Raider is in cinemas now