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Tomb Raider is a 2018 action-adventure film directed by Roar Uthaug, with a screenplay by Geneva Robertson-Dworet and Alastair Siddons, from a story by Evan Daugherty and Robertson-Dworet. An American and British co-production[5], it is based on the 2013 video game of the same name, with some elements of its sequel by Crystal Dynamics, and is a reboot of the Tomb Raider film series. The film stars Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft, who embarks on a perilous journey to her father's last-known destination, hoping to solve the mystery of his disappearance. Dominic West, Walton Goggins, Daniel Wu, and Kristin Scott Thomas appear in supporting roles.

Tomb Raider
Tomb Raider (2018 film).png
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Roar Uthaug
Produced by Graham King
Screenplay by
Story by
Based on Tomb Raider
by Crystal Dynamics
Starring Alicia Vikander
Daniel Wu
Dominic West
Walton Goggins
Music by Tom Holkenborg
Cinematography George Richmond
Edited by
Production
companies
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures[1]
Release date
  • March 2, 2018 (2018-03-02) (Berlin)[2][3]
  • March 14, 2018 (2018-03-14) (United Kingdom)
  • March 16, 2018 (2018-03-16) (United States)
Running time
118 minutes[4]
Country
  • United Kingdom[5]
  • United States[5]
Language English
Budget $90–106 million[6]
Box office $273.5 million[7]

Principal photography took place from January to June 2017 at the Warner Bros. Studios in the United Kingdom, and in Cape Town, South Africa. The first Tomb Raider film not to be distributed by Paramount Pictures, it was released in the United Kingdom on March 14, 2018, and in the United States on March 16, 2018, by Warner Bros. Pictures, in RealD 3D, IMAX 3D, and IMAX. The film grossed $273 million worldwide, just below the $274 million made by Angelina Jolie's original film in 2001 but more than its 2003 sequel.

The film received mixed reviews from critics, with some describing the plot as "paint-by-numbers", and others praising the grittiness and realistic take on the franchise and Vikander's performance. The characterization of Croft drew a polarized response; some described her as a "capable, powerful, and unobjectified heroine" while others called her bland, and a "punching bag and onlooker."[8]

Contents

PlotEdit

Following the disappearance of her father, Lord Richard Croft, Lara Croft makes a living as a bike courier. When she is arrested after a bike accident involving a police car, Richard's business partner Ana Miller posts her bail and warns her that if she does not claim her vast inheritance, her father's country estate, Croft Manor, will be sold off. Lara reluctantly accepts and gains access to a secret chamber in her father's tomb. There she finds a pre-recorded video message from Richard detailing his research into Himiko, the mythical Queen of Yamatai who was said to command the power over life and death. Richard warns Lara to destroy all of his research but Lara decides not to so she can investigate further.

Lara travels to Hong Kong where she hires Lu Ren, captain of the ship Endurance, to sail into the Devil's Sea and the island of Yamatai. Lu Ren turns out to be the son of the captain Lara's father hired to take him to the island seven years ago. The ship capsizes in a violent storm and Lara is washed ashore where she is knocked unconscious. She is revived by Mathias Vogel, the leader of an expedition to locate Himiko's tomb. The expedition has been funded by a shadowy organization called Trinity that seeks to harness and weaponize Himiko's power. Vogel takes Lara prisoner, claiming that he killed her father and intends to use Richard's research to continue his expedition. He adds Lara and Lu Ren to his slave force but soon Lara escapes with the help of Lu (after learning Vogel murdered his father), who stays behind after being severely injured.

Lara regains consciousness after nightfall and is forced to kill a Trinity guard when she is nearly discovered. She follows a mysterious figure wandering the island and discovers that the figure is her father, who stayed on the island to prevent Trinity from finding Himiko's tomb. After Lara convinces him that she is real and not a figment of his imagination, Richard treats her injuries. Despite his protests, Lara sets off to recover his research from Vogel's camp. Lara makes contact with Lu Ren, and he, along with the fishermen, stage distractions that allow Lara to infiltrate the Trinity camp and recover her father's research. In the ensuing chaos, Richard makes his way to Himiko's tomb and is captured by Vogel, who persuades Lara to open the tomb.

The party navigates a series of booby traps and locates Himiko's sarcophagus. Two Trinity soldiers attempt to remove her corpse but become infected by Himiko's "power", which is actually a disease so potent that mere physical contact triggers immediate bodily disintegration, and reduces those infected to an aggressive zombie-like state. Images around the tomb reveal that Himiko, who was apparently immune to the virus herself and was a carrier, came to the island voluntarily rather than being forced as the legends imply, sacrificing herself to contain the virus. Vogel concludes that he cannot remove Himiko's body and instead settles for detaching a finger, which he seals in a pouch. In the confusion, Lara and Richard overpower the remaining soldiers, though Vogel escapes and Richard becomes infected. Knowing there is no cure, Richard proposes destroying Himiko's tomb to prevent the disease from spreading across the world. Lara pursues Vogel as Richard sets off a bomb, killing himself and sealing the tomb. Lara confronts and kills Vogel by infecting him with the finger. She escapes the tomb as it collapses, meets back up with Lu Ren and the fishermen, and commandeers a Trinity helicopter to escape Yamatai.

Lara returns to London, where she formally accepts her inheritance and inadvertently discovers that Trinity's front company, Patna, is actually a subsidiary of Croft Holdings. She proceeds to investigate Trinity further and begins to suspect that Ana Miller is one of their agents who manipulated her into accepting her inheritance in order to have Lara sign over control of Croft Holdings' business operations to her when Richard Croft stopped cooperating with Trinity. Having witnessed Trinity's ruthlessness firsthand, she prepares for her next adventure.

CastEdit

Additionally, Annabel Wood portrays Rose, Lara's opponent at the Mixed Martial Arts club, and Shekhar Varma and Rekha John-Cheriyan appear as Nitin's parents. Josef Altin portrays Bruce, Lara's boss, Billy Postlethwaite and Roger Nsengiyumva appear as Bill and Rog, Lara's co-workers and opponents at the race, Michael Obiora portrays Baxter, Croft Holdings' receptionist, Keenan Arrison portrays Rocket, a Trinity guard, and Alexandre Willaume plays Trinity's lieutenant.[9]

ProductionEdit

GK Films first acquired the rights to make the film in 2011.[10] Norwegian director Roar Uthaug came on board in November 2015,[11] and Alicia Vikander was announced as the new Lara Croft in April 2016.[12] Deadline Hollywood had previously reported that Daisy Ridley was considered for the role, though she later stated in an interview that it was just a "crazy rumor."[13][14] Walton Goggins was announced to play the villain in December 2016,[15][16][17] and much of the rest of the cast was revealed in early 2017.[18][19][20]

FilmingEdit

Principal photography on the film began on January 23, 2017, in Cape Town, South Africa, and ended on June 9, 2017, at Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden.[21][22][23][24] Wilton House near Salisbury in Wiltshire was the location for exterior shots for Croft Manor.[25] The waterfall sequence involving the plane was filmed at a waterpark at Lee Valley, outside of London, at a venue that had been built for the 2012 Summer Olympics, and was combined with footage filmed in South Africa.[26]

ReleaseEdit

Tomb Raider premiered on March 2, 2018, in Berlin, Germany, at an exclusive preview with invited guests and cosplaying fans.[2][3] It was released in the United States on March 16, 2018, by Warner Bros. Pictures,[27] days after the fifth anniversary of the franchise's video game reboot. The film received an IMAX 3D and a RealD 3D release.[28]

Outside the US, the film was released in most territories between March 8–16, 2018, in Japan on March 21, 2018, and in Poland on April 6, 2018.

Home mediaEdit

Tomb Raider was released on digital streaming platforms on May 29, 2018.[29] A 4K UHD Blu-Ray, Blu-ray and DVD release occurred on June 12, 2018. Australia received a DVD and Blu-Ray release on June 18, 2018. [30]

ReceptionEdit

Box officeEdit

Tomb Raider grossed $57.4 million in the United States and Canada, and $216.1 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $273.5 million, against a production budget in the range of $90–106 million.[7] In order to break even, the film needed to gross at least $275 million worldwide.[31]

In the United States and Canada, Tomb Raider was released alongside Love, Simon and I Can Only Imagine, and was projected to gross $23–29 million from 3,854 theaters in its opening weekend.[32] The film made $9.1 million on its first day (including $2.1 million from Thursday night previews).[6] It went on to open to $23.5 million, finishing second at the box office, behind Black Panther ($27 million in its fifth week).[31] It fell 55% to $10.6 million in its second weekend, finishing 5th at the box office.[33] It grossed $4.9 million in its third weekend, falling 51% and finishing seventh.[34]

Internationally, the film opened in nine Asian countries a week prior to its United States debut. It made $14.2 million over the weekend, with Korea's $2.9 million being the biggest market.[35] The film opened in China on March 16, 2018, and made $12.3 million the first day. It was the fifth-highest-grossing day for a Warner Bros. film, opening 6% higher than Wonder Woman, and went on to debut to $41 million.[36] As of April 28, 2018, the film's largest markets were China ($78.4 million), the United Kingdom ($10.4 million), France ($10.1 million), and the CIS countries ($7.5 million).[37]

Critical responseEdit

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 49% based on 244 reviews, and an average rating of 5.4/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Tomb Raider reboots the franchise with a more grounded approach and a star who's clearly more than up to the task—neither of which are well served by an uninspired origin story."[38] At the time of its release, it was the best-reviewed live-action video game film in the history of the site, before being surpassed by Rampage a month later.[39] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 48 out of 100, based on 53 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews."[40] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale, the same score earned by the 2001 film; PostTrak reported filmgoers gave it a 70% positive score.[6]

Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune gave the film 2 out of 4 stars and said, "The Lara Croft reboot Tomb Raider isn’t half bad for an hour. Then there’s another hour. That hour is quite bad. It’s no fun watching your action heroine get shoved, punched and kicked to the sidelines of her own movie, while the menfolk take over and take turns overacting before expiring."[41] Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter gave the film a mixed review, criticizing the story but praising Vikander, and writing, "When all the one-dimensional supporting characters and familiar action moves fall by the wayside, the one thing left standing is Vikander...The film strains credulity even for a vid-game fantasy by letting the leading lady recover awfully quickly from bad injuries, but other than that Vikander commands attention and is the element here that makes Tomb Raider sort of watchable."[42] Matt Bobkin of Exclaim! gave the film a 5 out of 10 score, writing "Tomb Raider is at its best when delivering mindless action, but don't bother trying to glean any sort of deeper, subversive meaning."[43]

Owen Gleiberman of Variety praised the film, saying that "The exciting surprise of the new Tomb Raider, directed by the Norwegian genre specialist Roar Uthaug, is that it doesn’t tamp down Vikander’s inner flame, or the three-dimensionality of her talent; it doesn’t fold and insert her into an overly gymnastic and CGI-happy thrill ride. The movie is full of vine-swinging, bow-and-arrow-shooting, ancient-spirit-meeting action, but most of it is staged on a convincing human scale, one that’s been expertly tailored to its star’s understated directness."[44]

Matt Zoller Seitz of RogerEbert.com gave the film 3 out of 4 stars, and said, "this is a beautifully crafted and unpretentious piece of action cinema, with a number of sequences that are as gorgeous as they are thrilling, and a female hero who's as elegant as she is deadly: an ass-kicking Audrey Hepburn."[45]

Retrospectively, some critics have argued that Tomb Raider was overly scrutinised by press compared to similar films in the same genre.[46][47] Editor in Large of IndieWire Anne Thompson theorised on Twitter that it wasn't marketed enough to smart women.[48] Thompson also wrote that Tomb Raider "was a well-mounted, intelligently wrought adventure, more grounded in the real world than its fantasy predecessors." and that "it establishes the action bonafides of both Vikander and director Roar Uthaug"[49]

FutureEdit

Alicia Vikander has highly expressed interest in returning as Lara Croft for a second film, stating that "If there's an audience out there for it, then I would love to". [50] Adrian Askarieh also told IGN in an interview that he desires to oversee a Shared universe of Square Enix films with Just Cause, Hitman, Tomb Raider, Deus Ex, and Thief, but that he does not have the rights to Tomb Raider.[51]

AccoladesEdit

Award Date Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
Teen Choice Awards August 12, 2018 Choice Movie – Action Tomb Raider Nominated [52][53]
Choice Action Movie - Actress Alicia Vikander Nominated

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit