Tomb Raider

Daniel Wu is mostly wasted as a sidekick who gets about 10 minutes of screen time.

I can think of a lot of things that would've made Tomb Raider a much stupider movie. For example: dinosaurs.

Tomb Raider is not a terrible movie. After game adaptation like Hitman (the bad one, and the other bad one) and braindead bullshit like Pixels, that’s a relief. Remember the 90s, when Hollywood was hellbent on adapting every Japanese game into a movie, and that gave us post-apocalyptic cyberpunk Mario, Jean Claude Van Damme in an invisible boat and this poor bloated bastard in Double Dragon? Tomb Raider bears little resemblance to those messy, hilarious, horribly acted movies. And honestly, I wish it did. Then it wouldn’t be so boring. 

You’ve seen this movie before, in every Hollywood origin story. Like the 2013 game, Tomb Raider and actress Alicia Vikander try to make Lara Croft a believably real, human character, and both end up making her the action movie cliche of a real person, instead. You know the type: she's "poor" because she won't spend her family's billions, but still hangs out on cool, scenic rooftops in London. She struggles with the violence of killing someone to survive, but is soon making death-defying leaps and wielding a bow like she's been puncturing windpipes and not apples all her life.

Most of this character growth is conveniently explained by flashbacks, strategically inserted to ensure you don't need to worry about things like nuance or subtext as you watch. As an adaptation of the 2013 game, I'd call Tomb Raider a complete success: it's safe, generic action entertainment that takes itself a bit too seriously.

Alicia Vikander kills it in the action scenes, but it's all just so predictable.

I can think of a lot of things that would've made Tomb Raider a much stupider movie. For example: dinosaurs. Most of the story is set on an island Lara seeks out, the island her father disappeared on, which happens to hold the tomb (!!) of the long-lost Queen Himiko. On that island Lara encounters Trinity, an evil Illuminati organization trying to find Himiko's tomb to use her mystical powers for evil. There aren't any dinosaurs on the island, which makes sense, because dinosaurs died out something like 65 million years ago. But all I'm saying is, what if there had been?

Put dinosaurs in this movie and it would immediately get way dumber. I definitely would've started laughing. Just imagine it! There's some rustling in the bushes, and instead of a guy jumping out at Lara and trying to choke her, it's a damn shoulda-been-extinct-forever-ago raptor! That would've been preposterous. And imagine if, when Lara had discovered the location of Himiko's tomb and opened it for Trinity's goons into it after completing a classic videogame puzzle sequence…

You can almost see the QTE prompts.

Mummies. Imagine how dumb it would be if Lara ended up fighting her way through a bunch of reanimated mummies to get to Himiko's body. That would be much less realistic than the Temple of Doom-style traps Lara and the bad guy, Vogel, find themselves dodging. And mummies would be a complete tonal mishmash with Vogel, played by Walton Goggins, who comes across as ruthless and a little bit crazy, but too lightly sketched to be as intimidating as the movie wants him to be. He wouldn't be very scary once mummies showed up. 

If Lara Croft had ridden a centaur...

Or maybe he could've gone crazy, and been extra scary. Walton Goggins can play crazy. He's great at it! And when they finally got to Himiko's tomb, the dumbest thing I can imagine being there to guard it, pretty much, is a centaur. That shit would be campy as hell. I don't even know how I'd review a movie that ended with Lara Croft jumping on the back of a centaur and killing it with a climbing pick. In the kind of movie where something like that happened, the writer definitely would've made Alicia Vikander say "Tomb? Raided." after killing everything. I'm groaning and it hasn't even happened.

All of those crazy, dumb things happen in the original Tomb Raider game, and they would've been full-on ridiculous in a movie. But they're also the things that made Tomb Raider so memorable. I will never forget stepping into that valley and seeing that T-Rex come out of the darkness. I love the foreboding atmosphere and how enemies like mummies make you really feel like you've discovered a place no human has been in thousands of years. I also love the movie The Mummy starring Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz, and how it goes full camp but still makes you love its characters with fun writing and chemistry.

I just really want to rewatch The Mummy, to be honest.

None of the characters in Tomb Raider have that chemistry, because they don't have enough time on screen together to earn it, and the film takes itself too seriously, which is why there's never even a hint of tension that dinosaurs might show up, or mummies might bust through the walls, or anything might happen to deviate from the predictable path of a totally fine action movie.

If Lara Croft had ridden a centaur, this movie would've been panned. It probably would've bombed. Of course the things that work in videogames don't often translate to movies with real human beings. The videogame movies of the 90s never really learned that, which is why they're so consistently insane. It's also why they're never, ever boring—and when they're predictable, it's because you know the stupidest possible thing is about to happen. Tomb Raider isn't a terrible movie, but I wish it was. It would've been a lot more fun, that way.

Tomb Raider - CrystalD_Meagan

Experience Lara Croft’s defining moment as she becomes the Tomb Raider. Available on PC on September 14th, 2018.

Learn more:
Tomb Raider - (Dominic Tarason)

Shadow of The Tomb Raider

Update: Big surprise! It’s finally now official.>

Now, keep this between us – quiet, alright? Just between you and me, I think there might be a new Tomb Raider game in the works. I also think that it might be called Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and that it might be released this September, and that it’ll feature scenes a lot like the completely-unrelated-we-assure-you image you see above.

I have all these wild hunches because Square Enix’s PR seems to have sprung all of the leaks, spilling juicy game info all over the place up to and including shakey-cam footage of the teaser trailer, along with the release date. So much for a dramatic reveal, eh?


Tomb Raider

Update: As suggested yesterday, Shadow of the Tomb Raider will launch on PC on September 14, 2018. 

"Experience Lara Croft’s defining moment as she becomes the Tomb Raider," so reads a tweet from the official Tomb Raider Twitter account, alongside the following short:

"Shadow of the Tomb Raider will be unveiled on April 27, 2018," says Square Enix in a statement. "Fans around the world can visit [the Tomb Raider official site] for a chance to play the game and meet the developers at one of three exclusive reveal events."

Original story:

"March 15th, 2018 6:00 am PDT," reads a new teaser countdown on the official Tomb Raider website. It would appear this is when Square Enix plans to officially announce Lara Croft's next outing, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, to the world. 

Inspecting the HTML, however, suggests September 14, 2018 is the game's due date—as uncovered by Twitter person Nibel.     

A quick check at our end appears to confirm the above:

Nibel also points to a more in-depth reveal due next month: 

As per the Tomb Raider site, the official reveal is tomorrow, March 15 at 6am PT/1pm GMT. We'll update if anything changes before then.  

Tomb Raider

I had no idea that the first three Tomb Raider games were available on Steam but, yep, they're all there. However, they're the original DOS ports running through an emulator, which throws up a bunch of performance, resolution and control problems. Thankfully, more modern remasters are on the way that will run at 1080p with 60fps.

Realtech VR is the company handling the remasters, and it's basing them on the mobile versions of the games. You'll need to own the games on Steam in order to play the remasters because they're essentially mods of those versions, but if you do then they'll be completely free. The developer says it's looking at doing the same for GOG but isn't sure if it's going to be possible. 

Along with a new 3D engine, the remasters will offer support for OpenVR, feature a range of graphics options and be playable with a controller. Realtech VR hasn't yet set a release date.

Realtech VR was founded in 2008 and has largely worked on games for iOS, although its website says that its team has experience in PC development. It has already finished the first two games and is currently working on Tomb Raider 3. Since the announcement, fan questions have been pouring in, and Realtech VR has been dealing with them on Twitter—click here to read its responses.

You can watch videos of its work on the first two running below, and everything seems to be as promised. A trailer for the remaster of Tomb Raider 3 is coming next month. 

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - (Brock Wilbur)


With a new Tomb Raider film about to hit theaters, the world is ripe for some Lara Croft nostalgia. Here to fill that void we have some delightful remaster news: the first three Tomb Raider games are getting made-up really pretty, and they’ll be free for gamers who own the originals. The reason why, however, might surprise you.


Tomb Raider

In the late 90s, when Tomb Raider was at the height of its power on PSone, Lucozade snapped up Lara Croft for one of the most famous video game-related TV ads of all time.

Now, Lucozade has once again snapped up Lara Croft, this time to coincide with the release of the upcoming Tomb Raider movie.

The 1999 Tomb Raider Lucozade advert saw Lara Croft get the better of a pack of wolves. Ol' Lara blows the wolves a kiss before leaping off a ledge. The wolves jump after her - to their doom - while Lara grabs a conveniently placed and hand-sized rock handle. Take that, wolves!

Read more…

Tomb Raider

Barbie has been an astronaut, a vet, even a mermaid. Now, she's a Tomb Raider.

Doll maker Mattel has unveiled Tomb Raider Barbie (thanks, IGN), which is less a new look for Barbie herself and more just an action figure of Alicia Vikander, who portrays Lara Croft in next month's film.

(There are a range of Barbie dolls which aren't actually Barbie herself, something which I've just found out browsing

Read more…

Tomb Raider

Square Enix has announced that a new Tomb Raider game is in the works, and that it will be revealed in a "major event" set to take place sometime in 2018. And that is literally all I can tell you about it. 

I'm not kidding.

Announcements of announcements aren't my favorite thing in the world, especially when they're for not-exactly-a-surprise news that a popular videogame series is getting a another sequel. I also find it amusing that a message telling fans that they'll have to wait ends with, "we simply can't wait."

And yet, there's something odd about it—something in the wording that makes me think that maybe there's more going on here than meets the eye. What if... What if there's a secret hidden in the message? What if the first letter of the first word in each sentence combined to form a word?   


That little Easter egg still doesn't tell us anything new about the game, but it does appear to confirm the Shadow of the Tomb Raider title that leaked in October of last year, a rumor that solidified (although it remained unconfirmed) this past June. So at least we're not going away completely empty-handed. 

(And I cannot tell a lie: Rachel Weber of Gamesradar gets credit for noticing the Shadow secret—although I'm sure I would've figured it out on my own eventually.)

Tomb Raider

It was always inevitable that Rise of the Tomb Raider would get a follow-up, and almost as inevitable that it'd be called "Shadow of the Tomb Raider" (games with "shadow" in the title are popular, you see). So it's hardly a surprise that a new leak can be added to those which seem to confirm that Shadow of the Tomb Raider is in development. 

The first emerged in October, when someone noticed a fellow commuter flicking through Shadow of the Tomb Raider marketing guff on a laptop. Eight months later, and marketing guff has struck again, because this time a California-based company called Take Off appears to have jumped the gun uploading stuff onto their website, resulting in this being found:

The top line is a collection of logo options (note the image on the far right features art used to promote Rise Of..., in other words, it's placeholder). The bottom section shows a handful of key art proposals, illustrations which may serve as inspiration for the main marketing art for this third instalment.

The art has been removed from the website now, which only serves to raise my suspicions that the game definitely exists. I was surprised Shadow of the Tomb Raider didn't appear at E3 last week, but in any case, I think it's safe to say it'll come eventually.

Cheers, NeoGAF.


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