How violent is the new Tomb Raider film? The reboot starring Alicia Vikander as the titular archaeologist/adventurer is grittier than either of the previous Angelina Jolie-led Tomb Raider movies, with an even greater emphasis on death-defying action set pieces that place Lara in imminent mortal danger she must strive to overcome.
Still, like the adventure films that inspired them, Indiana Jones and James Bond, Tomb Raider also avoids the R-rating; indeed, all three Tomb Raider films thus far have received a PG-13 rating from the MPAA. However, the 2018 version is more violent, especially when we get to the second act. There are thrilling chase sequences and a frightening storm at sea that Lara fights to survive. Once she reaches a mysterious island near Japan, the rest of the film showcases breakneck action where Lara is threatened by an enemy army employed by a shadowy group called Trinity, and by the mysterious tomb she has come to discover.
As seen in the trailer, Lara has to survive being plunged into a raging river and later save herself from the certain death of plummeting down a waterfall by catching into the wing of a derelict cargo plane, which then breaks apart. Without spoilers, that latter setpiece comes to an end with an intense injury with extended recovery, although no actual gore is shown. Later on, there are stitches applied to a character without anesthetic.
Lara doesn’t just weather the elements of the island, she has to fight mercenaries sent to kill her. People are shot and killed, and otherwise threatened at gunpoint numerous times. When Lara reaches the ancient tomb, the interior is riddled with death traps that raise the movie’s body count. That said, little gore is shown in these sequences: fans of the Indiana Jones films will be familiar with the kind of deaths and calamities that occur in the Japanese tomb.
There is no sex or sensuality in Tomb Raider. Rather, the film highlights Vikander’s ripped physique and her ability as an action heroine. Lara’s fight scenes are MMA-inspired and hew closer to the intense action seen in Casino Royale or the Jason Bourne films than the previous Tomb Raider movies. Vikander is also dressed more appropriately for her jungle adventure, as opposed to the provocative form-fitting attire favored by Jolie’s Lara.
Overall, Tomb Raider contains the type of violence inherent in a modern action film, but it’s not gratuitous, cartoonish, or excessively gory and bloody. While it’s certainly in line with the 2013 video game that inspired the story, it’s much less torturous than players experienced. And this makes sense; Lara’s fanbase now spans generations, and there is something for everyone to appreciate in the new Tomb Raider.
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