THE REEL: Tomb Raider celebrates girl power

Sunday June 10 2018

Tomb Raider is undoubtedly an all-time classic that has managed to maintain popularity even with modern-day gamers. PHOTO | COURTESY

Tomb Raider is undoubtedly an all-time classic that has managed to maintain popularity even with modern-day gamers. PHOTO | COURTESY 

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If you’re a 90s baby who was into video games, more so quest games, then you are most likely familiar to at least one version or edition of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. The game was the height of being an elite gamer back then. It is undoubtedly an all-time classic that has managed to maintain popularity even with modern-day gamers. 

In fact, people were still willing to catch it on the silver screens and so Warner Brothers and Paramount Pictures made a movie based on the reboot of the game that came out in 2013.

Tomb Raider follows Lara Croft (Alicia Vikander), a woman in her early twenties who is on a rebellious path. Coming from a wealthy and dynastic family – the Crofts – Lara has abandoned her family name and the glory of the riches to live literally from hand to mouth. This was after her father, Lord Richard Croft (Dominic West), went missing years earlier during an archaeological research expedition into Himiko, the mythical Queen of Yamatai, who said to command the power over life and death. 

Lara makes a living as a bike courier and seems to want nothing that reminds her of her father. She believes he abandoned her, despite the fact that he was presumed to have died during the expedition. A search carried out to try and find her father had yielded no results in establishing his whereabouts. 

Lara gets arrested one time after engaging in devious activities, and has to be bailed out by Ana Miller (Kristin Scott Thomas) – her father’s close friend and business partner. She tells Lara that her family’s estate, including their home, would be sold off if she doesn’t claim the inheritance.

When Lara goes to sign the papers to take charge of the property, she comes across a puzzle that her father had left behind that leads her to a secret compartment at their home’s grounds. The compartment leaves clues that seem to lead her to what her father was up to before he disappeared. She seizes the opportunity to follow the path that her father had taken, to give her closure and to finish what he had started.

Himiko’s myth turns out to be more than just a myth. Lara soon discovers that a powerful organisation has been trying to get to the queen in order to weaponise her power and rule the world.


Having this knowledge makes the path dangerously tricky for Lara and she often has to fight to stay alive. It dawns on her that her father could have disappeared at the hands of the dangerous individuals she encounters.

Luckily, Lara wasn’t your ordinary rich girl who could not take care of herself. Her father had trained her in archery from a very young age. In addition, she acquired grit from her years of living in hardship. The organisation’s henchmen find it difficult to get her cooperation.

There were complaints that Lara’s arch changes completely from a less powerful person to a very strong individual overnight. However, I think the story prepares us for the type of person she eventually becomes by leaving breadcrumbs in different parts of the movie’s beginning. Alicia Vilkander has a strong performance in this movie. She is soft, funny, witty and also an action hero. 

The plot was a good one and the suspense created throughout the movie will have you captivated to the end of the movie. 

However, let’s not forget this is a movie based on a video game. The action will, for the most part, be exaggerated and even surreal. If you go to watch this movie with the aim of understanding everything that is happening on the screen, you will miss out on simply enjoying a good movie. 

The movie barely has any sexual innuendos. On the contrary, the heroine is depicted as a strong girl and there is almost zero sexualisation of the heroine. She also takes a lot of hits while facing losses in the movie.

It’s one of those movies that may have your girlfriend feeling like she could also take on the world, fists and all. Like Wonder Woman, this is also another movie celebrating girl power positively through hard work.

Tomb Raider is a reboot of the Tomb Raider film series that saw Angelina Jolie star in the initial Lara Croft: Tomb Raider back in 2001.