Despite it being a story of a butt-kicking female hero, action franchise Tomb Raider has never been a series free from its problematic aspects — either in video game or movie form.
While the female-led saga of Lara Croft has been hailed as sex-positive, free from body shaming, and revolutionary in its protagonist’s gender (video games were and continue to be about as male-dominated as you can imagine), there was also criticism that accused the games of sexism and objectification. Since the 1996 debut of the character, these conversations have raged on, continuing to include the upcoming movie adaptation.
In an unfortunately region-locked interview on BBC’s The One Show, actress Alicia Vikander — who is playing a much less sexualized version of the character compared to previous actress Angelina Jolie — noted that despite the film’s killer stunts and tough heroine, there’s definitely something missing in the film: women.
“I was wondering,” Vikander said, “I was on this island like, ‘There’s not enough women, where are they?’ I was running around looking for them.”
While Vikander noted her work with “extraordinary actress” Kristin Scott Thomas, who plays a member of Croft’s father’s company in the film, that’s basically what you get in terms of actresses across the board.
In fact, according to Tomb Raider's IMDb, there are more actresses credited as Lara Croft (3) than there are female characters NOT named Lara Croft (2).
There’re plenty of bad men, which is a thematic element of the game and movie, with plenty of villainous thugs, a helpful sidekick, and nebulous father figures. But as for women? Like Vikander says, “not enough.”