Reviewed by: Maggie Hays
Alicia Vikander … Lara Croft
Hannah John-Kamen … Sophie
Walton Goggins … Mathias Vogel
Kristin Scott Thomas … Ana Miller
Dominic West … Lord Richard Croft
Daniel Wu … Lu Ren
Nick Frost … Max
Emily Carey … Young Lara (Age 14)
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|Director:||Roar Uthaug—“The Wave” (2015)|
|Producer:||GK Films [Great Britain]
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|Distributor:||Warner Bros. Pictures|
Lara Croft is a 21 year-old bicycle courier whose hobby is kickboxing. She is broke but her father, missing for seven years, has a huge fortune that would be hers if she only signs a document that acknowledges his death. In hopes of finding him, she retraces the adventure he took when she was only fourteen. This adventure turns out to bring her a lot more than she bargained for, as she must overcome one extremely perilous situation after another.
Clothing—Lara wears tight-fitting shorts and tank tops throughout the film. A hint of cleavage is obvious now and then, but is not overdone.
Language—There are two instances of implied, but not fully-spoken, f-words. There are about 15 various uses of the word sh*t, a couple uses of G*d d*mn, “for G*d’s sake”, also “fricken” (which is merely a toned-down form of the “F word”)
“Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No.' Anything more comes from the evil one.” —Matt. 5:37
Action—The action in this film is high-octane and almost relentless and may overwhelm younger children. Lara participates in a maddening bicycle race, early in the film, through city streets and perilous narrow-misses. There is a frenetic chase scene and fist-fight in Hong Kong. She encounters a horrific storm at sea. The thunder and lightning are ferocious, and I had to shut my eyes to prevent a migraine, which can be caused by flashing strobe-like lightning.
There are many intense fist-fights and cruel beatings. The villains are brutal and mercilessly kill sick slaves who cannot work. There are several cold-blooded murders of unarmed, helpless characters. There is an intentional drowning that ends a fight, a gruesome impalement, a suicide, and a flesh-disintegrating plague that causes a few characters to die in agony.
Disturbing images—Lara frequently suffers beatings, cries out in pain, screams, weeps, runs for her life, and nearly plunges to her death. Her facial expressions show pain, sorrow, and fear many times. Several other characters suffer various painful beatings and injuries. There are many cave skeletons in poses that reflect their unpleasant demise.
Frightening scenes—The storm at sea is terrifying in its intensity. There are a couple of dark scary basements, and several frightening caves. The tomb has grisly booby-traps that kill.
Supernatural components—Lara wears a “powerful lucky amulet” left by her mother. There are about fifteen references to “supernatural powers,” “a dark realm,” “magic,” “sorcery,” “an ancient curse,” and “a death queen.” The walls of the tomb abound with weird nightmarish images. Lara’s father admits he became “obsessed with the supernatural after his wife’s death.
There is no alcohol use shown in the film, though one man passes out from drunkenness and suffers through the resulting hangover.
The vile organization that hired the bad guys is called “Trinity.” I found it concerning that a word that is so strongly associated with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is given to a negative entity which seeks control over the supernatural and “wants to unleash untold evil upon the world.”
Positive Points—Lara and her father have a loving relationship and make great sacrifices for each other. “In humility consider others more important than yourselves” (Phil. 2:3). Lara is brave and loyal, athletic and intelligent. She perseveres through many trials and tribulations. Though there are many beatings and deaths in the film, there is almost no blood and gore. Many characters help each other and care for the safety and welfare of each other. The Dark Realm undertone involving the Death Queen never becomes the main focus of the film and is actually underplayed.
There are many scary scenes, situations, and images in this fast-moving movie. It is almost certainly too intense for younger children and could produce nightmares. Please take the PG-13 rating seriously. This movie isn’t for 9 or 10 year-old kids.
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.