Jun 102018
 

Tomb Raider might be the exception to the rule of an actually good video game adaptation, and not in a so bad it’s good like the Jolie version. I genuinely enjoyed the action sequences and Alicia Vikander really embodied Lara Croft in the character’s current form, quite well.

 

 

Tomb Raider
(2018)

Genre(s): Action, Adventure
Warner Bros. | PG13 – 118 min. – $44.95 | June 12, 2018

Date Published: 06/10/2018 | Author: The Movieman


MOVIE INFO:
Directed by: Roar Uthaug
Writer(s): Evan Daugherty and Geneva Robertson-Dworet (story), Geneva Robertson-Dworet and Alastair Siddons (screenplay)
Cast: Alicia Vikander, Dominic West, Walton Goggins, Daniel Wu, Kristin Scott Thomas
DISC INFO:
Features: Featurettes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: 4K, Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 2
Audio (4K/BD): English (Dolby Atmos), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video (4K): 2160p/Widescreen 2.40
Video (BD): 1080p/Widescreen 2.40
Dynamic Range: HDR10, Dolby Vision
Subtitles (4K/BD): English SDH, French, Spanish
Codecs: HEVC / H.265 (4K), MPEG-4 AVC (BD)
Region(s): A, B, C

Warner Brothers Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.


THE MOVIE — 4.0/5


The video game adaptations in Hollywood have been uninspiring to say the least with very few (Silent Hill is the only one I’d say was truly good) succeeding and others down the “so bad, it’s good path”, namely the Angelina Jolie incarnation of Tomb Raider. Version 2018 of Tomb Raider actually was one pretty damn good movie. I’ve only sparingly played the newer games with the grittier and more realistic character design, but from that, it would seem the filmmakers did a good job culling from the source material.

Note: This portion of the review contains some plot MAJOR SPOILERS, so reader beware!

Tomb Raider 2018 finds Lara Croft (ALICIA VIKANDER) getting her ass kicked at the gym and working as a bike courier to make ends meet. Oh, the Croft family is rich but she lives this life because in order make claim to the fortune would mean signing paperwork declaring her father, Richard (DOMINIC WEST), who had gone missing 7 years earlier, legally deceased, something she is unwilling to do in the hopes she may one day find him.

Just as Lara is about to accept that her father may indeed be dead, and under the pressure from Ana Miller (KRISTIN SCOTT THOMAS), who handles the day-to-day activities at the Croft company, before signing the document, she is handed a puzzle game inside held a key and a riddle. Lara rushes to the Croft mansion and mausoleum where she finds a keyhole that unlocks a secret bunker where her father’s true passion lies.

Inside, she watches a video recorded for her in case of his demise, telling her to destroy a document so it will not get into the wrong hands and find her own path… or something along those lines. Well, being strong willed, Lara ignores her father’s orders and sets off for Hong Kong to find a boat captain who had helped her father years earlier. There, after a pointless foot chase after her backpack is stolen (I guess this was to show her athleticism needed for later), she literally stumbled upon the rust bucket of a vessel she was looking for, only to discover that the captain is Lu Ren (DANIEL WU), whose own father disappeared on the voyage undertaken with Lara’s father.

When the pair enter what is called the Devil’s Sea, they shipwreck on an isolated island where they meet Mathias Vogel (WALTON GOGGINS) who, as you might suspect, is our film’s villain, sent by a secret organization known as the Trinity, who want to get their hands on the body of Himiko which legend has it, holds some kind of ancient power. After escaping the grasps of Vogel and his army, she must stop him from getting Himiko, along the way receives an unexpected (well, expected if you’re a movie watcher) surprise.

I actually found Tomb Raider to be one hell of a good adventure ride. Like I said earlier, I haven’t played the newer games outside of a few minutes here and there, but this version seems to have done a good job in both honoring the source material and still be open enough for those unfamiliar with it. I also appreciated that, unlike the Jolie ones, this takes a bit more of a grounded take, with certainly some fantastical elements, where even Himiko doesn’t just turn in a CGI-fest demon but instead is steeped in ancient legend; how true or realistic it is, I don’t know, but it was a welcomed revelation.

What also works is the casting of Alicia Vikander. Listen, I’m a warm blooded male and the, ahem, attire Angelina Jolie wore in the original Tomb Raider, to go along with a laughable story, was what stood out in an otherwise bad film (and has since landed in the “so good, it’s bad” territory for me. Here, Vikander, albeit still sexy as all hell as she kicks ass, really embodies Lara Croft rather well, not to mention is pretty spot on in appearance. I can only hope Vikander gets another shot at the role…

The supporting cast isn’t bad either. Where in the original we get a few flashbacks with Jon Voight as Lara’s father, Dominic West gets more than that this time around and has some lovely scenes opposite Vikander, lending to an even more emotional foundation. Never found West to be a dramatically great actor, but does well in the role. Then you get Daniel Wu whom is merely a sidekick and, let’s face it, in the film to fulfill the requirement to open in the Chinese market, wish he had more to do as I think he’s a very talented and is rather wasted. Last, Walton Goggins probably is the go-to guy to be your film’s baddie. Nothing outstanding about him, kind of generic and easily one of the weaker aspects of an otherwise entertaining film.

Tomb Raider was directed by Roar Uthaug, unusual yet great first name, is a Norwegian filmmaker who caught Hollywood’s attention with The Wave. Not at all a bad American debut as he does a fine job with some well done and choreographed action sequences, many of which were copied straight from the game.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 2.25/5


This release comes with a matted, but banner reflective, slip cover and inside is a Digital HD redemption code. The features here are sadly a bit light, totaling only around 28-minutes.

Tomb Raider: Uncovered (7:06; HD) – The cast and crew reveal the challenges – and the fun – of bringing Lara Croft’s thrilling adventures to life for a new generation.

Croft Training (6:06; HD) looks at actress Alicia Vikander as she hits the gym, preparing for the most physically demanding role of her career and then transforming into Lara Croft.

Breaking Down the Rapids (5:34; HD) has director Roar Uthaug and other members of the cast and crew, break down one of the film’s key action set pieces.

Lara Croft: Evolution of an Icon (9:53; HD) – This featurette explores the Tomb Raider saga from video games to movies, and discover how she became one of the most popular female characters of all time.

PreviewsTag, The Meg

 


4K VIDEO – 5.0/5, BD VIDEO – 4.5/5


Warner Brothers releases Tomb Raider onto 4K Ultra HD and is presented with a 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio and a 2160p transfer (HEVC / H.265 codec). This is, simply, a brilliant looking high-definition transfer, detail is excellent such as the bronze tanning lotion they must’ve applied to Vikander’s face in some scenes, colors are bright, without being overly so, aided by the HDR while black levels are deep and does not lose anything going on within. Not bad in its own right, the 1080p Blu-ray is decent as well, although it isn’t as noticeably as colorful or bright, detail levels still were pretty damn good.

AUDIO – 5.0/5


Both the 4K UHD and Blu-ray included a well balanced yet still engrossing Dolby Atmos track. Along with the crisp and clear dialogue I’d come to expect from any new movie, where the track comes to life is with the various action set pieces, none more noticeable than the rapid river/plane sequence where the rip-roaring water envelopes the room rather nicely while in some of the more quieter moments, you can hear either the crowded Hong Kong city life or the sounds of the jungle, making up the ambient noises for the rear speakers.

 


OVERALL – 4.25/5


Overall, Tomb Raider for me might be the exception to the rule of an actually good video game adaptation, and not in a so bad it’s good like the Jolie version. I genuinely enjoyed the action sequences and Alicia Vikander really embodied Lara Croft in the character’s current form, quite well. The 4K release from Warner might be lacking in the features department, but the video and audio transfers are both top notch.

 

 

 

 

The screen captures came from the Blu-ray copy and are here to add visuals to the review and do not represent the 4K video.

Please follow and like us:

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

(required)

(required)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.