Let’s Talk About The First Tomb Raider Trailer…

Hey look a new trailer to break down! It’s been awhile since something popped up that felt like it deserved one of these. Anyway, this week we got our first look at the new Tomb Raider movie starring Academy Award winner Alicia Vikander. It sure does look like a movie. Based on the video game series of the same name, Tomb Raider follows Lara Croft, an adventurer/archeologist/soldier?/model, who picks up in her late father’s footsteps after his untimely demise. Apparently Mr. Croft was all of those descriptors as well as a cryptologist, and has hidden the clues to his biggest find yet in all of the places you’d expect. You know, like a secret bunker under the family tomb.

The movie looks to take it’s inspiration from the well received 2013 video game reboot, which took a more serious and vicious tone than the prior series of games (or films for that matter). Lara, on her latest expedition, is shipwrecked on a long lost South Asian island where a group of mercenaries are trying to find some hidden treasure containing unlimited power. Your typical Saturday night. As you progress through the game you get more and more information about what is happening on this island all the while brutally murdering mercenaries before they can do the same to you. In fact, that was the one thing I kinda hated about the game. It seemed that the programmers really hated Lara. They would always kill her off in the most merciless of ways.


Obviously the movie won’t have that happening (though I bet we get at least one dream sequence where we see one of these horrific deaths) but it does seem to show us just how rough they’ll be treating Lara. I would surmise that this is all part of Lara’s character arc. She can take the beating and still end up on top. Because if she doesn’t, man, that’s going to be one hell of a bummer of a movie.

Anyway, enough of that, Let’s Talk About The First Tomb Raider Trailer:

  • The trailer opens with an already beat up Lara running through a wooded area.
  • We flash back a bit to Lara Danny Rand-ing it up at her family company.
  • I know that employees of named companies (especially security guards) don’t necessarily know what every person in the boss’ family looks like, but how do you not know what his super hot, most likely in the business daughter looks like?
  • Back on the island Lara is hunting something with an older looking bow and arrow. I’m hoping that she found this weapon somewhere, because if she fashioned it she should change careers to Bowyer.    
  • Annnd back to flashback, this time of Lord Richard Croft (Dominic West) with a very young Lara in front of their stately manor. 
  • Kristin Scott Thomas tells Lara with her father gone, she can pick up where he left off and that she see so much of him in her. Lara ignores this to play with a puzzle. Kinda rude if you ask me.   
  • In solving the puzzle Lara discovers a key that obviously unlocks the tomb of Mr. Croft at the family estate. Inside the tomb is less mummified bodies than you would expect but more hidden treasure hunting bunker.                         
  • Lord Croft has left Lara a video message where he clichédly tells her if she’s watching this he’s already dead. Just once I’d like someone to be watching one of those video wills and have the person still be alive. “You weren’t supposed to see that yet! Oh well, guess we’ll just have to use both of our resources together and actually achieve our goals. Movie over.”
  • Lord Croft’s video sets up the big adventure. He’s found a tomb called the Mother of Death. He lets Lara know that if Trinity succeeds, the world will be in danger. The video asks Lara to promise that she will stop them. I feel like there should have been more info on who Trinity is, and if they are that dangerous maybe don’t send your model/archeologist daughter after them. Like call the military or something man.
  • Lara promises to stop them. *sigh*
  • The trailer now picks up basically where the 2013 video game does. Lara and her ragtag crew are on a boat searching for where her father went. Lu Ren (Daniel Wu) mentions that it’s right in the middle of the Devil’s Sea. Yet another clue to tell you “Hey, maybe don’t go to this place.”  
  • Lara tells Lu that this will be an adventure. Lu points out that death is not an adventure. I agree with Lu.
  • Guess what happens next. If you picked the boat gets horribly ship wrecked by a freak storm, you win!         
  • In what’s supposed to look like Lara is jumping off the ship during the storm, we get her jumping off what looks like a cliff. Into extremely turbulent water. This seems like yet another bad idea for Lara. 
  • Lara is almost immediately captured by Trinity as she makes her way onto the beach. She’s told she shouldn’t have come there, and once again I think I have to agree.
  • Mathias Vogel (Walton Goggins) shows up to give this flick some much needed bad guy cred. He tells Lara though she shouldn’t have come here, he’s glad she did. I would imagine that’s two fold. One, she has all the knowledge he needs to get into the Mother of Death and acquire it’s power. But two, he probably thinks that Lara is easy on the eyes. He ain’t wrong. 
  • Did you think that you’d get out of this trailer without a murder montage? Nope. There are also title cards throughout letting us know that this is the beginning of Lara’s legend. Which makes sense as we’ve never seen this Lara before, but I appreciate the heads up.
  • We get to see what is probably one of a thousand instances where Lara falls and is brutally hurt. Again, it won’t be the horrific death scenes from the game but it’ll be damn close. This time it’s bouncing off a very sharp tree and landing in a river.            
  • Lara asks Mathias what he knows about her father. He creeps it up by not really answering but telling her he sees the resemblance.
  • Meanwhile, we get more of the murder montage happening. I feel like this trip is really going to play on the psyche of Ms. Croft. 
  • We get a few shots of Lara actually raiding some tombs. There’s also a couple of scenes of her completing the puzzles and evading the traps that the franchise is known for.            
  • The penultimate scene shows us one of the other hallmarks of the Tomb Raider series: visceral Sharapova-esque grunts. Oh and long distance jumping. But c’mon, it’s really the grunting.         
  • The trailer wraps up with Nick Frost‘s arms dealer selling Lara her famous dual HK USP pistols. In probably the weakest line from the trailer however, she wryly notes that she’ll take two. I desperately hope that delivery is not how the rest of the movie will play out.     

Yeah, that’s definitely a trailer. I had pretty high hopes (much like I did for Assassin’s Creed) that this would break the video game movie curse but I’m not so sure here. Everything seems so cliché, which in a 20+ hour video game is fine but when boiled down to a 100 minute movie maybe not so much. The upshot here is the cast is all pretty great but we’ve seen that backfire before. Maybe Alicia Vikander really wanted to buy a boat. Here’s to hoping that the movie is even slightly better than this trailer.

Tomb Raider hits theaters March 16th, 2018

From Hollywood,

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