Plot: What’s it about?
I have always been indifferent towards the Tomb Raider films. They both entertained me enough to pass the time, but aren’t films I’m in a hurry to return to anytime soon. I am a big Angelina Jolie fan, so that helped me enjoy them a bit more than I might have with a lesser actress in the lead role. I much prefer Jolie in R rated action affair such as Wanted as there are few other actresses out there that can so effortlessly play assassins. The last Tombfilm came out all the way back in 2003, so a reboot was the obvious choice. I’m really not familiar with Alicia Vikander, but was willing to go with the film and give her a shot. While I still think I prefer Jolie in the role, Vikander does a good job and I actually enjoyed the film quite a bit. Honestly, while Jolie is my preference, I still find this to be the better of the three Tomb Raider films so far. I say so far, but it’s hard to tell if we will be getting another film any time soon as this only did OK at the Box Office. I suppose time will tell, but this at least provides an entertaining couple of hours to spend your time.
Richard Croft (Dominic West) is an adventurer who disappeared when his daughter Lara (Vikander) was only 15. He left her a huge inheritance which she refuses to accept. This is mainly because Lara still believes her dad is alive somewhere out there. Lara finds a puzzle box left behind by her father which leads her to believe he is in fact still alive out there. This will supposedly lead her to her father’s tomb. She then takes a mission to seek him out, though it’s a very dangerous one at that. Walton Goggins plays Mathias Vogel who is a rival archaeologist of Richard Croft. He’s also part of a shadowy organization. While not the most original character out there, I do feel we get a solid villain here. One of the main differences I noticed this time was it felt like more of an adventure. Some of the plot elements such as the father who’s presumed dead are familiar, but I had more fun this time around. I don’t feel by any means that we needed this reboot or that it’s essential viewing, but it’s not nearly the disaster I had feared.
If we do get more Tomb Raider films I feel the sequels can improve since the groundwork has been laid. I also feel Vikander will only grow more comfortable in the role. Jolie just felt like a natural fit, but this is at least a unique spin on the character. With plenty of action and a running time that zips by, the films gets a mild recommendation from me.
Video: How’s it look?
Blazing into 4K with tons of detail and clarity, I expected nothing but the best from this transfer and it delivered. We get a 2.40:1 ratio with excellent results all around. Sharpness is fine with little no softness detected or other obvious flaws. All the colors come across with great detail as well. In short: this was a visual treat for the eyes that never lets up. Fans should be quite pleased with the results here.
Audio: How’s it sound?
There’s no denying that Tomb Raider takes full advantage of every channel you own. The included Dolby Atmos track is chock full of directional sound effects that really up the ante when it comes to next generation audio tracks. There’s clarity in the vocals as well as crispness in the action scenes. Every little detail when the characters are on their journey comes across nicely. This track was rich with detail and clarity to create an involving experience.
Supplements: What are the extras?
- Tomb Raider: Uncovered – With only a handful of features, this one covers all the bases with some interviews with the cast and crew, some behind the scenes footage as well as an overview of the film itself.
- Croft Training – We see some of Vikander’s training regimen, which helped her get in shape for the part (not that she needed it).
- Breaking Down the Rapids – An action sequence in the movie is dissected.
- Lara Croft: Evolution of an Icon – If you’ve ever wanted a history of the character of Lara Croft, here it is.
The Bottom Line
I won’t call this a great film, and I still prefer Jolie in the role, but I did prefer this version to previous chapters. It’s just a lot of fun and far better than these films usually are. I’d at least say a rental is in order as there are worse ways to spend your time.