Tomb Raider (2018) directed by Roar Uthaug
The Lara Croft movie franchise is rebooted in this tale of a younger Lara in search of her father, Richard Croft. Richard was fascinated with an ancient Japanese myth of a queen who had the touch of death. His search for her tomb led him to an obscure island in the Pacific. He's been missing for seven years and young Lara is roughing it as a courier, kickboxer, and urban thrillseeker. She finally knuckles under the pressure to admit he's dead and starts signing the paperwork that will turn over the Croft estate to her. As she's signing, she's given a puzzle that leads her to her father's secret man cave where he kept all his research, including the stuff about the Japanese queen. Lara decides to follow his trail, leading her to Japan and that lost island, where other less scrupulous people are carrying on her father's work. Richard wanted to make sure the "touch of death" never escaped; they want to capitalize on its value. Action and mayhem ensue.
The movie has many fine qualities. It does feel inspired by a video game but it's not like watching someone play a video game. Action sequence are blended in with puzzle solving. Both are enjoyable but not very deep. Viewers don't really get a chance to solve the puzzles; they just watch Lara figure them out. Alicia Vikander as Lara does a good job selling the intelligence and grit of her character. Happily, she neither acts like nor is treat as a sex object (by the movie or by the characters in it), an aspect of the character wisely booted from this reboot. She's a smart, tough young woman who makes a good role model. The ending leaves many pathways for possible sequels, much like a video game hoping for a franchise.
Recommended--while not a great film, it does have many fine qualities and a winning performance from Alicia Vikander. This is a fun popcorn action film.