Tomb Raider reboot
Warner Bros. studios has unveiled the first details of its Tomb Raider reboot, including an official first look at Alicia Vikander in the starring role. Previously a few pictures of on set scenes managed to leak, but now we have official high-res pics.
An official plot synopsis was also released.
Lara Croft is the fiercely independent daughter of an eccentric adventurer who vanished when she was scarcely a teen. Now a young woman of 21 without any real focus or purpose, Lara navigates the chaotic streets of trendy East London as a bike courier, barely making the rent, and takes college courses, rarely making it to class. Determined to forge her own path, she refuses to take the reins of her father’s global empire just as staunchly as she rejects the idea that he’s truly gone.
Advised to face the facts and move forward after seven years without him, even Lara can’t understand what drives her to finally solve the puzzle of his mysterious death. Going explicitly against his final wishes, she leaves everything she knows behind in search of her dad’s last-known destination: a fabled tomb on a mythical island that might be somewhere off the coast of Japan. But her mission will not be an easy one; just reaching the island will be extremely treacherous. Suddenly, the stakes couldn’t be higher for Lara, who—against the odds and armed with only her sharp mind, blind faith and inherently stubborn spirit—must learn to push herself beyond her limits as she journeys into the unknown. If she survives this perilous adventure, it could be the making of her, earning her the name tomb raider.
The Tomb Raider reboot is set for March 16, 2018 release in theaters.
The Tomb Raider game franchise started back in 1996 as an action-adventure game developed by Core Design. The game’s female protagonist, who became Lara Croft near the end of development, was intended to prevent any comparison with Indiana Jones. After all, the hero-adventurer archeologist business has limited job vacancies. The game was undeniable good and coincided with the rise in 3D games and the first PlayStation. Lara Croft of course became a sex-symbol to many gamers in the late 90s. An image that publisher Eidos Interactive promoted by liberally applying more polygons to Lara’s curves with every sequel. This culminated with the release of the first Tomb Raider movie in 2001 starring Angelina Jolie. The movie as well the games by that moment were no more than mediocre. Fans felt the publisher was simply cashing in on name recognition and Lara’s sex-symbol – which coincided with Angelina’s.
Several more Tomb Raider games were released from 2006 onwards, but they were also no more than mediocre. It wasn’t until after a 5 year gap that developer Crystal Dynamics rebooted the franchise with their 2013 game – Tomb Raider. The new franchise initially reduced some of the archeology aspects and settled for more sneaking and adventure. Lara Croft changed to a young woman finding her way in a world were instant death is around every corner. The game certainly introduced grit and danger into the franchise. There was also less emphasize on Lara’s curves – the new Lara is lean, sometimes scarred but still sexy.
A reboot of the movie franchise had been touted and many actresses had been mentioned. For a long time my favorite would have been Olivia Wilde. then in 2015 the sequel Rise of the Tomb Raider was released. This game, set in the snowy mountains of Russia, has been a hell of an experience to play, and it reintroduced archeology solidly back into the franchise. In the meantime the production company behind the Tomb Raider reboot had passed on Daisy Ridley and settled on Alicia Vikander as Lara. Norwegian director Roar Uthaug also became attached to the project.
So Alicia Vikander has become the new Tomb Raider. I had first seen the actress portraying Caroline Mathilde in the Danish period drama A Royal Affair. Her next roles in The Fifth Estate and Ex Machina were also noteworthy, but only in the latter role did I see potential as an action heroine come to fruition. Last year her role as the duplicitous CIA agent Heather Lee in Jason Bourne gave her a much needed boost to becoming Lara Croft. All these roles prove she has depth and that she is as comfortable leading in a corset as she is with a bow and arrow (I hope).
It is not an understatement to say that expectations for the movie are running high. After two very successful games the hope is that Alicia Vikander can continue to portray the new Lara Croft. But I do have some worries. Tomb Raider is still a game franchise. Can it entertain a cinema audience? The experience of watching a 2 hours movie is by compared to a game brief and not interactive. Also, while Lara Croft is solid character with lots of depth she is also a solitary. She interacts with few people, other than to kick their asses.
Rise of the Tomb Raider partly solved this with a prolonged inner monologue, but I don’t think that will work with a movie. The first of the reboot games also emphasized physical challenges to Lara Croft. From the official stills this will become a large part of the Tomb Raider reboot as well. But I fear it maybe overdone like it was recently with Logan. Lets keep our hopes up and wish the Tomb Raider reboot the best.