'She never comes across as having an ounce of sex appeal and, at times, looks like she could be 16...'
We don’t know about you, but we’d been counting down the days until we could hit the cinema to see the new Tomb Raider film.
With Alicia Vikander taking the reins from Angelina Jolie – who portrayed Lara Croft in the original adaptation back in 2001 – there was always going to be a huge buzz surrounding this reboot.
From the very first trailer, the scene was set; a kickass female lead, but with zero hint of those close-up boob shots or the usual sexual undertones. Echoing 2017’s Wonder Woman, it was refreshing to see – and with the DC film smashing box office records last year, we already know the appetite is there.
One film critic appears to have taken issue with this – and, go figure, he’s male.
The Tomb Raider review, which was published on PhillyVoice.com, seemed to draw comparisons between Vikander and Jolie’s body types. Because, apparently, this has everything to do with the plot.
‘Vikander’s appearance is also markedly different than Jolie’s,’ the writer, Jerome Maida, said. ‘She never comes across as having an ounce of sex appeal and, at times, looks like she could be 16. Toss in the lack of curves and Warner Brothers could have decided to gender bend and make a film titled “Luke Croft” – and it would have come across the same way.’
He then added: ‘Such interchangeability is not exactly empowering for women.’
The notion that a woman’s sexuality is somehow intrinsically linked to their sense of empowerment is hugely problematic. Of course it should go without saying that a woman can be sexual and still be taken seriously, but a lack of overt sexualisation shouldn’t detract from that either.
It didn’t take long for this article to go viral, with many taking to social media to call out the sexist undertones of the review.
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‘This week in “Male Film Critics Who Should Shut Up”!,’ one user tweeted, along with a screenshot of the paragraph.
‘…men who went to see tomb raider for the tits and arse can go home, this film is for intellectual people with upstairs brains. I can understand why modern day feminism is needed,’ another tweet read.
It seems that this backlash has lead to the published piece being changed. The problematic paragraph is now missing and, instead, an Editor’s Note reads: ‘This review previously made references to Vikander’s appearance in comparison to Angelina Jolie. After consideration, we have removed that mention.’
If you’re looking for a dose of strong female empowerment, Tomb Raider is in cinemas right now.