Tomb Raider (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Roar Uthaug|
|Produced by||Graham King|
|Based on||Tomb Raider
by Crystal Dynamics
|Music by||Tom Holkenborg|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Box office||$269.3 million|
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. 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.
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. It has grossed $269 million worldwide, lifting it provisionally into the Top 10 highest-grossing film of 2018; currently, it ranks at 11th place.
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. While Vikander's performance was highlighted, 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."
Following the disappearance of her father 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 inheritance, her father's estate will be sold off. Lara reluctantly accepts and gains access to her father's office. There she finds a pre-recorded 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 to the island of Yamatai. 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 organisation called Trinity that seeks to harness and weaponise Himiko's power. Vogel takes Lara prisoner, claiming that he killed her father and intends to use Richard's research to continue his expedition. Lara escapes with the help of Lu Ren, who also survived the storm and has been put to work with the local fishermen digging for Himiko's tomb. She evades capture but is seriously wounded in the process and passes out from her injuries.
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 himself had been held captive on Yamatai. After Lara convinces him that she is real, 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 the 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. Vogel shoots the infected soldier, concluding that he cannot remove Himiko's body. He 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 virus from spreading across the world. Lara gives chase to Vogel as Richard sets off a bomb, killing himself and sealing the tomb. Lara confronts Vogel and the two fight. Lara overpowers him and force-feeds him Himiko's severed finger before kicking him down a deep chasm just as the infection takes over. She is rescued by Lu Ren and the fishermen, who then commandeer 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 among her father's files and begins to suspect that Ana Miller is one of its 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 to thwart their future plans - buying two Heckler & Koch USP Match pistols with stainless slides.
- Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft
- Maisy De Freitas as 7-year-old Lara
- Emily Carey as 14-year-old Lara
- Dominic West as Lord Richard Croft, Lara's archaeologist father.
- Walton Goggins as Mathias Vogel, a rival archaeologist of Richard Croft, and a member of Trinity, a shadowy organization.
- Daniel Wu as Lu Ren, the ship captain who helps Lara to search for her father.
- Kristin Scott Thomas as Ana Miller, an associate at Richard Croft's company, Croft Holdings.
- Derek Jacobi as Mr. Yaffe, an associate at Croft Holdings.
- Nick Frost as Max, pawn shop owner and gun salesman.
- Jaime Winstone as Pamela, Max's wife.
- Hannah John-Kamen as Sophie, Croft's close friend.
- Antonio Aakeel as Nitin Ahuja, a shy friend of Lara.
- Duncan Airlie James as Terry, the Mixed Martial Arts club operator.
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's receptionist, Keenan Arrison portrays Rocket, a Trinity guard, and Alexandre Willaume plays Trinity's lieutenant.
GK Films first acquired the rights to make the film in 2011. Norwegian director Roar Uthaug came on board in November 2015, and Alicia Vikander was announced as the new Lara Croft in April 2016. 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." Walton Goggins was announced to play the villain in December 2016, and much of the rest of the cast was revealed in early 2017.
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. Wilton House near Salisbury in Wiltshire was the location for exterior shots for Croft Manor. 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.
Tomb Raider premiered on March 2, 2018 in Berlin, Germany, at an exclusive preview with invited guests and cosplaying fans. It was released in the United States on March 16, 2018, by Warner Bros. Pictures, days after the fifth anniversary of the franchise's video game reboot. The film received an IMAX 3D and a RealD 3D release.
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.
As of April 23, 2018[update], Tomb Raider has grossed $56.7 million in the United States and Canada, and $212.6 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $269 million. In order to break even, the film needs to gross at least $275 million worldwide.
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. The film made $9.1 million on its first day (including $2.1 million from Thursday night previews). It went on to open to $23.5 million, finishing second at the box office, behind Black Panther ($27 million in its fifth week). It fell 55% to $10.6 million in its second weekend, finishing 5th at the box office. It grossed $4.9 million in its third weekend, falling 51% and finishing seventh.
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. 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. As of April 23, 2018[update], the film's largest markets were China ($79.2 million), the United Kingdom ($10.8 million), France ($10.3 million), and the Russian Commonwealth ($7.5 million).
On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 49%, based on 236 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." 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. On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 48 out of 100, based on 53 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews." 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.
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." 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." 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."
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."
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."
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