We spend very little on films in which people kiss or dance together, but a movie where they sprint for safety as a nebula of flame erupts behind them is the easiest sell in the world.
In “Tomb Raider,” which reboots the immensely successful video game’s film franchise, we get Oscar-winning actress Alicia Vikander playing to the crowd in very good form.
Her performance is agile on more than physical terms, every bit as emotionally nimble as you would want from a gifted actress who is slumming in a film with much atmosphere but little built-in story.
The film serves as an origin chronicle for Lara Croft, whom we meet as a London bicycle courier with championship pedal stamina, plucky skill in the fight gym and a winning sense of humor.
As thrill-a-minute cliffhangers pile up to stratospheric heights, the film charts Lara’s evolution from spunky tomboy to daredevil globe-trotter.
Directed with professional polish by Roar Uthaug, the film delivers the obligatory vortexes of doom.
Moving characters from computer screens to film screens often has big risks and minimal rewards.
Still, whatever possessed Vikander to play this iconic heroine has actually stood her in good stead. Her courageous Lara compares with Angelina Jolie’s overacted version like Daniel Craig’s 007 with Roger Moore’s.
As long as it’s Vikander who’s running from catastrophe, I’ll follow Lara anywhere.