Lara Croft: Tomb Raider Review

A secret from her father’s past leads adventure-seeker Lara Croft on one of her greatest challenges. What she seeks to find is the Triangle of Light, a legendary artifact whose power to alter space and time happens only once every 5,000 years. Also in hot pursuit: the Illuminati, a secret society bent on world domination. Lara and her trusty tech-geek sidekick, Bryce, must do everything in their power to stop them.

Up until Lara Croft: Tomb Raider hit theaters in 2001, video game adaptations hadn’t fared well at the box office. Granted, Super Mario Bros, Double Dragon, and Street Fighter all had shallow game narratives that didn’t necessarily translate to the big screen. With Lara Croft, at least, you had a character with a solid backstory who could enter real-life scenarios audiences could relate to. Furthermore, Croft’s pixel character had plenty of sex appeal. Casting Angelina Jolie as the iconic adventure seeker certainly helped propel this film into blockbuster status, ultimately raking in over $274 million.

Unfortunately, the film isn’t that good. Sure, it has moments of fun, but there are too many leaps of logic that take you out of the movie. Not surprisingly, Paramount has released Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and its less successful sequel on Ultra HD Blu-ray to tie in with the Tomb Raider reboot staring Alicia Vikander as Croft.

The 4K Blu-ray release is a major disappointment. The source is an upconverted 2K master, and the added resolution only highlights the sub-par special effects, while a limited high dynamic range (HDR) treatment adds virtually nothing in comparison with the middling Blu-ray version. Sure, the detail in backgrounds is a tad sharper, and the lush greens of the tropical jungle settings a bit more inviting, but it’s not much of a visual upgrade.

The audio is a serviceable DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack, which is an upgrade over the Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 track on the 2006 Blu-ray release. Like most action films, there’s plenty of activity throughout, with bullets flying to and fro, pans that fit the onscreen action, and adequate amount of LFE to keep your subwoofer pumping.

Supplements are housed on the bundled Blu-ray and include five vintage featurettes, a commentary from director Simon West (also on the 4K disc), deleted scenes, a U2 music video, and trailers.

Ultra HD Blu-ray
Studio [and film release year]: Paramount 2001
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audio Format: DTS-HD MA 5.1
Length: 100 mins.
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Director: Simon West
Starring: Angelina Jolie, Daniel Craig, Iain Glen