This reboot stands apart from the original 2001 film Lara Croft: Tomb Raider – itself inspired by the iconic video game series – because it follows the 2013 reboot of the game, which is a retelling of the story of Lara before she became the tomb raider.
When we are introduced to this Lara (Vikander), we see her getting her butt kicked in a boxing ring. She is also broke, works for a delivery service, and is eager to do anything for some quick cash.
However, when she gets in trouble with the police for an illegal fox hunt-inspired bike race, her former guardian Ava (Kristin Scott Thomas) comes to bail her out.
Here is where we discover she is the heiress to a vast family fortune, and that her father, Lord Richard (West), has been missing seven years and is now presumed dead.
Lara soon finds her father’s secret lair and in it, discovers that her father’s last quest was in search of the fabled tomb of a blood-thirsty Japanese queen.
In a recorded message, Richard tells Lara that he had found the tomb, but an ancient order called Trinity is after it too. He also warns Lara to destroy all evidence of the tomb or the world will be in danger.
So Lara takes his notes to Hong Kong and locates Lu Ren (Wu), the son of the ship captain who took Lara’s father to the island where the tomb is hidden.
Lu Ren reluctantly follows Lara on her quest, and their ship gets caught in a storm. Both are then taken prisoner by mercenaries led by Mathias Vogel (the ever-reliable Walton Goggins), who works for Trinity.
Thanks to Lara’s notes, Mathias now knows where the tomb is, and it is up to our sometimes-dumb heroine to find a way to stop him and save the world.
The movie is one big action fest from the get-go, whether it is the high-speed bike chase through the streets of London, Lara jumping off a waterfall (reluctantly) into the churning waters below, or taking on big burly mercenaries in battle.
You really have to suspend belief quite a bit, especially in scenes that show Lara falling from great heights, or getting impaled, but still being able to climb a cliff afterwards.
The visual effects are good, and some scenes will remind you of past adventure flicks.
But this is the kind of film you have to go in with no expectations whatsoever.