Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Lara Croft, the legend of Tomb Raider begins

We dare say just about anyone consuming modern day media would know who is Lara Croft even without playing the video games. As the lead protagonist in the Tomb Raider action-adventure video games over the last 2 decades, Lara Croft is one of the most recognisable pop culture characters today. In addition to starring in multiple video game releases since 1996, Lara Croft has also appeared in comic books, novels, an animated series and two movies released in 2001 and 2003 starring the voluptuous Angelina Jolie.

By 2015, Tomb Raider games have sold over 63 million copies worldwide (source Wikipedia). Its best-selling release to-date is 2013's tenth edition reboot Tomb Raider game, developed by Crystal Dynamics and published by Square Enix. The game series has received much critical acclaim being a pioneer of the action-adventure genre with Lara Croft also standing out as a strong female character in a largely male-dominated video gaming market in the 1990's. Although the latter was not without some controversy due to marketing her sex appeal to the male audience as well as improbable human proportions.

Lara Croft has of course evolved with the times so to say. Gaming technology has improved by leaps and bounds over the last 20 years, thereby evolving the world's most famous female cyber celebrity from a pixelated figurine with heightened centre of gravity, to a near human rendering with more realistic anatomy; see below:

Evolution of Lara Croft's look in video games since 1996 to 2013.
For more about the Tomb Raider video games, we will let the folks at Honest Trailers share their thoughts with you all (and LOL over!):

Lara Croft has been missing from the cinemas for 15 years with Tomb Raider The Cradle of Life released in 2003 to box office numbers far below expectation. It also coincided with a poorly received sixth video game instalment titled Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness, putting the franchise of hiatus from annual game releases until its tenth anniversary in 2006 with the release of Tomb Raider: Legend.

Angelina Jolie's last outing as Lara Croft in Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003)
Whilst we agree with critics and not a fan this second movie outing, we do dig the 2001 movie Lara Croft: Tomb Raider as a fun action-adventure with the very endowed Angelina Jolie who at that time was an ideal fit for bringing the pixel princess to real-life. Here's reliving 70 seconds of Angelina Jolie's Lara Croft from the first movie trailer:

BTW, fan girls of Daniel Craig take note he also stars in this movie prior to taking on the mantle of James Bond.

Outpost Intel: This movie is also a great travel commercial for Cambodia where key scenes were filmed in Siem Reap at the UNESCO World Heritage site of Angkor Wat. The Ta Prohm temple serves as a key scene for Lara and now readily accessible to movie fans to explore on their own. However today the temple complex is far from "abandoned" since Cambodia has opened its doors wide to tourists from around the world. Read more about this film site from Beyond the Movies blog and watch the scenes on YouTube. FYI, daily flights are available from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Siem Reap via Air Asia and Malaysia Airlines.

This year, Lara Croft finally returns, not as a Sequel to the prior two movies, but a Prequel. Academy Award winning actress Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl - Oscar winner for Best Supporting Actress, Jason Bourne, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Ex Machina) lands the role of Lara Croft as the young woman presented in 2013's Tomb Raider reboot game. Check out the movie trailer below which incorporates a slower, and dramatic music remix of Destiny’s Child’s "Survivor":

Official movie synopsis for Tomb Raider

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.
Source: Warner Bros. UK

From Warner Bros. Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, Tomb Raider is the story that will set a young and resolute Lara Croft on a path toward becoming a global hero. The movie is directed by Roar Uthaug (The Wave) and also starring Dominic West (The Wire) as Lara's father Lord Richard Croft, Walton Goggins (The Shield) as apparent villain Mathias Vogel, Daniel Wu (Warcraft, Into the Badlands, Gen-X Cops) as potential "sidekick" Lu Ren, and Kristin Scott Thomas (The English Patient) as Ana Miller.

Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft (right) finds an ally in Lu Ren played by Daniel Wu.
Walther Goggins as Mathias Vogel (right) seems to be doing the tomb raiding instead... for the time being.
In an exclusive early interview for, Norwegian Director Roar Uthaug said that his movie delves deeper into Lara Croft's humanity beginning as a young woman with great spirit and potential who through her journey and struggles will earn the title of Tomb Raider. About the production, Uthaug drew a lot of inspiration and reference from the game and the entire Tomb Raider canon to develop this vision of the world that Lara inhabits. He thinks fans of the franchise would definitely recognise "touchstones" from the 2013 Tomb Raider reboot game throughout the story, although this Lara will be very grounded and realistic, not a superhero. Therefore the action sequences will feel real and visceral to the movie audience instead of a CGI-feast. About leading lady Alicia Vikander, Uthaug is all praise for the new Lara Croft in providing great depth and humanity to the character yet delivering intense physical action.

Listen to Alicia Vikander on "Becoming Lara Croft". Looking real fierce, girl!

Indeed the Swedish actress went through intense physical training over four months before shooting to get into the role of Lara Croft. Prior to Tomb Raider, Vikander had "never done action scenes on this level" as quoted in an interview by She shared that the training intensity felt like going back to dancing, having to be very aware of movements for wire-work. "I've never been able to lift my own weight, and the day when you have that capacity, it's pretty empowering!" she added. Vikander certain looks to be doing many stunts herself, impressing her male co-stars Dominic West, Walter Goggins and Daniel Wu. A star of many Hong Kong action flicks and more recently as Sunny AMC's Into the Badlands mini-series, Wu described Vikander as a "beast" when it comes to the movie action and as a first-time action star has "taken the bull by the horns". Read more about Daniel Wu from his recent interview with where his shares on his acting career, experience with Tomb Raider and his First Love.

Speaking of Daniel Wu, he's a pretty famous face around Asia and so warrants his own movie poster here.
Fans may indeed come to embrace Alicia Vikander as the new Lara Croft as she herself was a fan of Tomb Raider when the video game was first released. During an interview on The Graham Norton Show, she shared that at the age of ten none of her girl friends played video games so she felt ashamed of doing so. Nevertheless it was first encountering Tomb Raider at a friend's house that sold her into the fandom with Lara Croft being a female game protagonist, which had never been seen on video games before then. Yes, in the present day and age it is most certainly cool for girls (geeky or otherwise) to play video games! About people's vision of Lara Croft and her upcoming version, Vikander flat out joked that "My breasts are not as pointy as the first Lara Croft".

Alicia Vikander in the forthcoming movie very much resembles Lara Croft as seen in the 2013 Tomb Raider game  (above), sans "pointy breasts".
Source: Art by Brenoch Adams from
At the time of this posting, there are no online reviews for this latest Tomb Raider movie. However, Malaysian Tomb Raider fans and gamers should to be ecstatic this week because we are amongst the earliest in the world to be able to watch this movie from tonight / Wednesday 7 March from sneak previews. The general nationwide movie release is officially tomorrow / Thursday 8 March, which is still over a week ahead of release in the United States. So for you all catching this movie first in the world, be nice and do not post SPOILERS on social media threads that would be followed by Tomb Raider fans in other parts of the world. Here are non-spoilery reactions by Outpost friends from an sneak preview night screening:

UPDATE 14 MARCH 2018: Here are movie reviews by and plus podcast by BFM's At The Movies.

Follow the latest updates on the official Tomb Raider - 2018 Facebook Page,  Tomb Raider movie on Facebook, @TombRaiderMovie on Twitter and Instagram, and locally via Warner Bros. Pictures Malaysia Facebook Page.

As a tribute to the Tomb Raider franchise celebrating the return of Lara Croft to cinemas, Outpost Productions will be posting daily cosplay photos inspired from the upcoming movie via our social media channels:
This is our first photo reveal on Monday this week with more to follow:

Many thanks to cosplayer Micho the Haram-bae and photographer Limelight Fotography for their time and effort on this photo shoot in the real Malaysian tropical forest.

We also shot a new Cosplay Fight Club fan video where we paired up characters from geek pop cultures in unlikely match-ups never likely to happen in the complicated world of Intellectual Properties rights and so forth. So here's our face-off video of Lara Croft versus Indiana Jones:

Now for our regular Malaysian readers who like to win stuff, the Outpost Movie Recon Team (M.R.T.) has identified GSC Cinemas to be giving away cool stuff through Q&A on their Facebook Page starting 8 March. Looking at the contest teaser poster the prize pool may include a Playstation 4 game console! So stay tuned to announcements tomorrow.

GSC looks to be giving away tomb raided loot.
Meanwhile, Premium-X Cinemas in OneCity USJ have also commenced their contest giving away movie premiums. To participate, find answers to three questions posed on their Facebook posting, then submit via email. Contest closes 15 March 2018.

Movie premiums to be won from Premium-X cinemas.
For fan girls of Lara Croft (and maybe even fan boys), an official Barbie doll of Lara Croft is available from Mattel. This version will be based on the likeness of Alicia Vikander in this upcoming movie. The doll, or action figure, is fully articulated as revealed by IGN so fan collectors will be able to pose Lara in here kick@$$ action poses. We do not yet have intel whether Barbie Lara will be available from local toy stores or hobby shops. Those who cannot wait to find out may look into purchasing online from priced at USD29.99 / RM117 before shipping & taxes.

If Ken gets out of line, Lara will put him in his place!
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Tomb Raider runs 122 minutes and releases in Malaysia on 8 March with sneak previews starting 7 March night at selected cinemas.

Disclaimer: Tomb Raider, Lara Croft and other trademarks are copyright to Crystal Dynamics, Square Enix and/or Warner Bros. Pictures, and their respective owners, referenced here for fan service announcements only without intent to infringe.

1 comment:

  1. Tomb Raider is one of my best survival game. I love to play the game and now I am so excited to watch full action pack movie Tomb Raider. Which is going to released in few days. Still I watch online trailer on YouTube and that was really interesting.