Movie review: Tomb Raider
Young girls now have another role model.
While Lara Croft is no trailblazing superhero like Wonder Woman, she has some commendable qualities.
This latest big-screen adaptation of the titular popular video game is poles apart from the cheesy flicks made famous by Angelina Jolie in the early 2000s.
Forget a D-cup heroine in skimpy tank tops and hot pants.
No particular effort has been made to make Alicia Vikander's Lara exude sex appeal. In fact, I think she often comes across rather masculine.
Nor is this Lara a Posh Spice.
She may be an aristocrat with billions to her name, but she chooses to work as a bicycle courier and has difficulty paying her rent.
She even pawns a family heirloom to finance her expedition to find her lost dad.
She is one independent and intelligent young woman who believes in hard work and gets by with street-smarts.
Vikander aces in the drama department. Her eyes are truly expressive, especially in the scene where she makes her first kill. Well, she is an Oscar winner after all.
She is also believable when executing the action sequences, which come at a furious pace.
Her mixed martial arts moves are credible and a particular kick in a pivotal scene is beautiful.
However, what drags her down is that she simply does not exude charisma.
When the petite Swedish actress arms herself with a bow and arrow, there is the instant comparison with Jennifer Lawrence's Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games.
And when she runs through the forest or the tomb - she runs a lot, by the way - you cannot help but be reminded of Tom Cruise, the king of movie running.
It does not help that this origin story is quite straightforward, with no curve balls.
The bottom line is that while Vikander is likeable, she just does not possess the X-factor.
I have not played the game in a long time, and this movie won't make me want to play it again.
But I would like to see another Lara Croft outing, as it is always good to have another strong woman on the big screen.
MOVIE: Tomb Raider
STARRING: Alicia Vikander, Daniel Wu, Dominic West, Walton Goggins, Kristin Scott Thomas
DIRECTOR: Roar Uthaug
THE SKINNY: Lara (Vikander) discovers that her missing father, Lord Richard Croft (West), has left clues about his life-long search for the tomb of a mythical Japanese queen. She goes on an
expedition to find him.