‘Tomb Raider’ reboot tests Oscar-winner Vikander’s star power

Cast member Alicia Vikander waves at the premiere for “Tomb Raider” in Los Angeles, California, US, March 12, 2018. (Reuters)
Updated 13 March 2018
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‘Tomb Raider’ reboot tests Oscar-winner Vikander’s star power

LOS ANGELES: When video game character Lara Croft first debuted in “Tomb Raider” on the big screen nearly two decades ago, she was a daring, action-superwoman embodying a role reserved for men.
Now, with the same feminist spirit, the reboot starring Alicia Vikander and opening worldwide this week, spins the usual action-adventure tale, but also dives into Croft’s beginnings, portraying a heroine with an emotional life and personal growth.
“We show this journey of Lara when she’s not the action hero ... and it’s a way of us still to root for her,” the 29-year-old Swede in her biggest role to date told Reuters Television. “You actually get to feel that’s she’s human, and she’s open to be vulnerable.”
The franchise’s revival is based primarily on a 2013 iteration of the game, which takes place on the fictional lost island of Yamatai near Japan.
In the film, Croft leads a profligate youth following her father’s disappearance, but then is pulled back into the fold when she is inspired to scrutinize his vanishing while on one of his treacherous archaeological adventures.
“Tomb Raider,” which first made it to the big screen in 2001 with Angelina Jolie as Croft, is a bit of a throwback with an elaborately constructed studio set in an era when most action films depend heavily on computer effects.
“I was really looking to get an authentic and gritty feel to the whole movie, so we shot a lot of it for real,” Norwegian director Roar Uthaug said.
“I think it brings some edge to it, some rawness,” the 44-year-old added.
“Tomb Raider” arrives at a time when Hollywood is putting more women in central roles in the macho blockbuster genre.
It is also a bet Warner Bros. has placed on Vikander to be Hollywood’s next breakout female action star following the roaring success of little-known Israeli actress Gal Gadot in last year’s “Wonder Woman.”
Vikander, who won a best supporting actress Oscar in 2016 for “The Danish Girl,” had yet to take on top billing in a blockbuster and is best known for her intense, emotionally dramatic performances.
“I too had to overcome, like Lara, a lot of questioning,” Vikander said. “But it’s an adventure, and I was really intrigued to go on it.”


Father of boy saved in Paris ‘Spiderman’ drama in court

This file photo taken on June 18, 2018 shows Malian immigrant in France turned hero, Mamoudou Gassama addressing the media within a meeting with Mali's president in Bamako. (AFP)
Updated 24 min 4 sec ago
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Father of boy saved in Paris ‘Spiderman’ drama in court

  • The man’s lawyer Romain Ruiz said prosecutors had taken “particularly reductive” elements of the story out of context, but added that the 37-year-old father admitted he had “done something really stupid”

PARIS: When a Malian illegal immigrant rescued a child dangling from a Paris balcony, he was hailed worldwide as a hero — but the little boy’s father will appear in court Tuesday charged with negligence. Mamoudou Gassama, the migrant nicknamed “Spiderman” after footage of his daring rescue went viral in May, has since been rewarded with French citizenship and a job in the fire service. But the four-year-old’s father, who has not been named, faces a potential criminal conviction for leaving the child unattended in their 6th-floor apartment, popping out to buy groceries. Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said at the time of the incident that the father also delayed his return because he wanted to play the popular Pokemon Go game on his phone. The man’s lawyer Romain Ruiz said prosecutors had taken “particularly reductive” elements of the story out of context, but added that the 37-year-old father admitted he had “done something really stupid.” “He is leaving his fate up to the court,” Ruiz said.
He added that the father had left home “for between 30 minutes and an hour” and had taken “precautions” to keep the child safe in his absence. The little boy clambered onto the balcony and appears to have fallen, before miraculously managing to grab the rail of a balcony lower down. Footage of the incident, filmed by a bystander below, shows him hanging over the edge, a neighbor on the adjoining balcony desperately trying to hold onto him. Gassama, 22, then scales the building Spiderman-style and pulls him to safety.
In theory, parental negligence carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison under France’s penal code, and a fine of up to 30,000 euros ($35,300).
But such a sentence is thought unlikely in the case of this father, who has been allowed to keep custody of his son. The boy’s mother was away at the time of the May 26 incident on a trip to France’s Reunion island in the Indian Ocean. Both parents were said at the time to be extremely shaken by the incident but hugely grateful to Gassama.