Tomb Raider [2018] ★★★

How you react to this fresh adaptation of “Tomb Raider” will have a lot to do with your expectations. I didn’t care much for the two movies starring Angelina Jolie (come to think of it, they were awful, despite a good performance from Jolie), so I was certainly looking forward to seeing Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft, and she nails it. Vikander looks nothing like Jolie, but she is both likable and believable in the role, and we find ourselves rooting for her from the word go. As the daughter of a passionate adventurer who went missing a few years ago, Croft finds herself with new clues that could lead her to the location of her father. As our heroine globe-trots from London to somewhere in Japan, this new “Tomb Raider” uncovers something fresh in the franchise: an unformed explorer, lacking polish, vulnerable to violence and helplessly human. And unlike the previous films, this one tackles a more straightforward approach and rarely feels forced. Is it a game-changer? I wouldn’t say that. Is it fun? You bet. With a solid cast, good story, and a pulse-pounding climax (think “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” type of fun), “Tomb Raider” will most definitely satisfy fans of the video game. I always say that if you’re going to do it again, at least do it right. And this movie gets it right. It’s entertaining from start to finish.

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