Simon West’s upcoming action-packed adaptation of Tomb Raider is due to arrive in cinemas in March. We’ve just seen the final full-length trailer – and boy, does it look sweet. Obviously, trailers are always meant to get you excited and maybe we’re just suckers for whatever black magic Warner Bros use in their marketing department, but Oscar-winner Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl, 2015) already looks like the perfect person to play a modern Lara Croft.
In some ways this adaptation seems to follow a plot like 2001’s forgettable adaptation staring Angeline Jolie, in that it’s set sometime after the death of Lara’s wealthy father and that Lara goes in search of his last-known whereabouts – which, of course, turns out to be a fabled lost island. Also, the main bad guys appear to be a global Illuminati-like collective, bent on ending the world as we know it. But that’s where the familiarities end.
Tomb Raider (2018)
It looks like West has really taken a lot of inspiration from Tomb Raider’s acclaimed 2013 (video game) reboot. No longer is Lara a disproportionate piece of eye candy. She’s a real adventurer with the heart of a warrior, a jaded rebel that suffers no fools and takes no s***. Within the first few seconds of the trailer we see her trading blows in the boxing ring and dangerously navigating a motorcycle around London’s East End. By the end of the trailer she’s shooting arrows in the jungle in a manner that would put Legolas to shame, screaming to the audience not to underestimate her family. That, coupled with the eerie rendition of Survivor by Destiny’s Child (seriously) has left us reeling.
Again, just like you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, nor should you assume it’s the best thing ever written just by reading its blurb. This is only a trailer, and we’ve been misled by those before (we’re looking at you, Suicide Squad). That being said, it can’t be any worse than the senseless and bland Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. That the titular character actually gets some backstory and motivation this time around is reason enough to get excited.
Now a young woman of 21 without any real focus or purpose, Lara navigates the chaotic streets of trendy East London as a bike courier, barely making the rent. Determined to forge her own path, she refuses to take the reins of her father’s global empire just as staunchly as she rejects the idea that he’s truly gone. Advised to face the facts and move forward after seven years without him, even Lara can’t understand what drives her to finally solve the puzzle of his mysterious death. Leaving everything she knows behind, Lara goes in search of her dad’s last-known destination: a fabled tomb on a mythical island that might be somewhere off the coast of Japan.