Tomb Raider (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Tomb Raider 4K ReviewI feel like I have been waiting forever for this reincarnation of the Tomb Raidemovie franchise.  While we just covered the Angelina Jolie films in 4K over here and here recently I never truly identified with them.  I found Angelina Jolie likable in the looks department, but was not able to fully marry myself with the goofiness of her role.  Oh well.  It mattered not as the franchise ended prematurely with only two adventures.  It’s all water under the bridge now.  I guess the same could be said for the Tomb Raider/Lara Croft video game series because in 2013 they were also rebooted too.  However, that was very much a good thing, a step in the right direction, and ultimately the reason why we’re all here today.  So let’s get started.

Tomb Raider


Truth be told I loved the 2013 Tomb Raider video game reboot.  I played the hell out of it and fell in love with Lara Croft all over again.  Not only were Lara’s assets stunning, but the graphics were cinematic, the gameplay/action was intense and the story was literally like a fluid motion picture.  It’s quite honestly one of my most favorite video games ever.  Therefore when it was announced they were green lighting a movie adaptation based upon this fantastic game I was as happy as a pig rolling around in mud.  Better yet 2016 even gave us a human likeness to wrap our perverted minds around, Alicia Vikander.  You may recognize her from some great take charge roles she had in Ex Machina and Jason Bourne.

That’s right our favorite, sexy android is now the swashbuckling Miss Lara Croft.  And if you played the past two Tomb Raider games and saw this film’s trailers, then one thing is for sure.  They share a lot of similarities and DNA in both the looks and action departments, not to mention the 2013 storyline too.  So let’s talk about that.  Our movie here is directed by Roar Uthaug off a story written by Geneva Robertson-Dworet and Alastair Siddons.  In addition to Alicia Vikander the film stars Dominic West, Walton Goggins, Daniel Wu, Nick Frost and Kristin Scott Thomas.  Like the 2013 video game and the previous Tomb Raider entry starring Jolie this one revolves around family.  Here we see Lara embark on a dangerous journey to her father’s last-known destination, which she hopes to solve the mystery of his disappearance.  Yeah I know it sounds familiar, but like all good journeys we have to start somewhere.  Truth be told I would rather get this family story out of the way so we can tackle something really cool next.

Now I don’t know how you feel about Alicia as Lara Croft and whether or not you’d be happier with that rumor of Daisy Ridley, but there’s no denying Vikander looks the part.  She may not be top heavy like the previous incarnations of Lara Croft, but she’s cut and no doubt spent many hours in the gym getting ripped for this.  It shows.  She’s not only into the role here, but she’s born for it.  Going off the video game reboot itself Alicia nails it and furthermore owns it.  We will probably never see a Rated-R film like this one should be, but truth be told this one’s pretty brutal and most importantly action packed at select times.  The stunts and action sequences are amazing, albeit the pulse pounding drum score by Junkie XL really fuels the energy.  So what’s this one all about?  I’m glad you asked.  Let’s tackle that next.

So yeah Lara has daddy issues here.  He’s been missing for quite some time and Lara refuses to let hope go that maybe somehow, somewhere her dad was still alive.  She’s strong and determined, but very lost in this feature.  This one could have easily been called ‘The Rise of the Tomb Raider” for many reasons, but the coming-of-age one would be my first choice.  The main difference here is this Lara is not educated and nor does she have any money either when we first meet her.  And no she doesn’t live in a fancy huge mansion.  That’s quite a stark difference from where we first saw Angelina’s interpretation in the first movie franchise.  However, as fate would have it she stumbles upon a secret her father kept from her that may prove once and for all that her father is still out there somewhere or she might find his final resting place.  Whatever the outcome is Lara knows that against all odds she must embark upon this journey to close this chapter in her life.  Yep.  She also raids some tombs in the process too.

What separates this incarnation of Lara is she’s not a sexist symbol like Angelina was.  This one is spot on with the girl we find in the 2013 video game reboot.  She could be referred to as a feminist icon in the action hero category, but why short change her like that?  She’s innocent, naive and just learning the ropes of not only tomb raiding, but also fighting and most importantly taking out hulking males with a bow and arrow.  Hell yeah!  I almost stood up and cheered when that happened.  It meant they weren’t going to shy away from the raw and brutal violence found in the 2013 game I know and love, but also because of the PG-13 rating it meant no blood (even with major injuries) and F-bombs too.  Boo!  That’s a hard pill to swallow because at my golden age I crave that stuff, but I get it.  I’m just saying.  My biggest complain though is the number of tombs raided.  I’ll leave it at that though as I understand most reading this have not seen it.

Let’s face it the goal of this film is to get butts in the theater and hopefully green light a sequel.  A Rated-R rating won’t accomplish that.  Lightning already struck twice with Deadpool and Logan, and I don’t suspect this Tomb Raider to be the third.  So the long and short here there are opportunities where this one can really shine, but because of the fact they had to hold back things felt a bit should I say safe and familiar at times.  I mean there were parts where I actually felt like I have seen the same old thing in other films.  My fiancee also thought her takedown of big hulking, beastly men in hand-to-hand combat is unrealistic, but I’m forgiving there.  I love a good female heroine kicking arse.  Again, with the daddy story out of the way here’s hoping for bigger and greater things should Alicia get another chance in this role.  Besides all the negatives I dug what Alicia brought to this, toughness, attitude and wit.  No she’s not as striking as Angelina, but like my 2013 video game I don’t want that.  I came here for a raw/flawed character and at least I got that.  It’s also never a bad thing with Walton Goggins as a villain either.

Tomb Raider


The below video score and related critique of things here are based solely upon my viewing of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of Tomb Raider.  From what I have been reading is the real deal folks both captured in and mastered in 4K and it shows.  Besides some of the VFX I could not find a single thing to nitpick about here video-wise in this presentation.  So bear with me as I sing songs of its praise down below.

  • Encoding: HEVC / H.265
  • Resolution: 4K (2160p)
  • Dolby Vision: Yes
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Clarity/Detail: The movie opens with pages from maps and books and holy hell they are clear as they would be in front of your eyes physically.  Textures in objects like bricks and stone look impeccable throughout.  Even paint flakes look incredible.  Ha ha.  I think you get the point.  There’s not a single thing that doesn’t look clear or intricate throughout this one.  No expense was spared in that department.  If I only had one nitpick it would be with the VFX.  Events like the waterfall escape or some explosions looked fake compared to the rest of the brilliant looking real world shots.
  • Depth: There is such an incredible three-dimensional pop to everything that pretty much depth of field is prevalent in every which sequence you take in here. From the bike races on the street and the large Croft boardroom sequence to the pawn shop, South African jungle, Hong Kong docks and more everything has a vast sense of depth onscreen to it all.
  • Black Levels: Black levels are both deep and very natural looking throughout.  In fact due in part to the HDR some of my favorite sequences within here take place at nighttime and they look absolutely amazing here.
  • Color Reproduction: The color palette throughout here is natural, bold and rich.  Colors look striking and gorgeous, but never fake or artificial (outside of key flashback scenes of course).
  • Flesh Tones: The skin tones are natural and authentic looking including Alicia’s bronze, golden tan skin.  Love it!
  • Noise/Artifacts: There was zero noise or nasty artifacts to report negatively about here.  This presentation aside from certain VFX is flawless to my eyes.

Tomb Raider


Like I mentioned up above in the video section, the below audio score and critical comments of such are based solely upon my viewing of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of Tomb Raider.  I do want you to know that both the 4K UHD Disc and 1080p Blu-ray comes armed with a Dolby Atmos surround track.  Keep your remotes handy though as it appears to default to the DTS track first for some reason.  No biggie though!  I’m used to this.

  • Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, English DTS-HD MA 5.1, English Descriptive Audio 5.1, French (Dubbed in Quebec) Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
  • Dynamics: Fidelity spread around wide here.  It’s a very engaging surround track at times, but make no mistake it can be quiet and tender when it wants to be too.  However, it’s the Junkie XL drums that grip you during the action sequences and never lets your pulse go.  I love that about this surround track.  With all of that said nothing gets lost in the shuffle of it all either.  You can’t beat that!
  • Height: At first the Dolby Atmos track didn’t grab me outside of the soundtrack and score being mixed up there, but once the action kicked in so did these height guys.  They were used for all things such as Junkie XL’s drum beats, rain, thunder, waves crashing, explosions, gunshots, flares, spike traps, rolling traps, a helicopter and more.
  • Low Frequency Extension: The LFE channel was full of thuds, blows, drums, an angry sea, gunshots, rocks, explosions and so much more.  The LFE channel was as you can expect completely engaged and flexing during the action sequences.  You kind felt every blow our heroine did because of the aggressive bass here.  Boom!
  • Surround Sound Presentation: The 4K presentation’s rear channels were full of chases, arrows flying by, rocks falling, booby traps and so much more.  There was an utmost sense of directionality in them that really place you in the middle of everything.  I think the greatest example would be the moments of booby traps employed throughout the one lone tomb raining scene where the traps sprung from behind you and moved forward.  I loved it!
  • Dialogue Reproduction: The dialogue levels are all presented loud and clear throughout.

Tomb Raider


Well there’s good news and bad news for you folks here in the Extras department.  The good news is there are some extras.  The bad news is there’s not much extras.  The first two were so awesome I honestly could have sat there for an hour more learning all about the production, but I digress.  In addition to the below extras found only on the Blu-ray Disc you also get a redemption code for Movies Anywhere so you can enjoy this one digitally on the run.  Now let’s tackle the following artifacts down below.  Yes haw!

  • Tomb Raider: Uncovered (HD, 7:06) – The cast and crew reveal the challenges and the fun of bringing Lara Croft’s thrilling adventures of life for a new generation.  This is the gritty version relatable to the new video game reboot of the character as Laura up and coming.  We also briefly explore the sets and the setting of South Africa here.  The intricacy of the sets built here are actually quite fascinating.
  • Croft Training (HD, 6:06) – Here we get to enter the gym with Award winning actress Alicia Vikander as she prepares for the most physically demanding role of her career and transforms into the iconic action hero Lara Croft.  There’s no doubt about it she’s built for this role thanks to the grueling daily workout and meal plan she subjects herself to daily.  This one makes you appreciate the movie that much more seeing the 120% Alicia put into this role.
  • Breaking Down the Rapids (HD, 5:34) – In this extra we join Director Roar Uthaug as he and other members of the cast and crew break down some of the film’s most exciting action set piece that involves water and VFX.
  • Lara Croft: Evolution of an Icon (HD, 9:53) – Here we explore the revolutionary TOMB RAIDER saga from video games to movies, and discover how Lara Croft became one of the most popular and successful female characters of all time.

Tomb Raider


Well there you have it folks.  This may not have been the Tomb Raider film y’all wanted, but nevertheless I feel it’s a step in the right direction.  However, that’s just me.  What I do know is there’s reference, stunning 4K visuals on display here and pulse pounding surround track at times to enjoy.  The only lackluster part of this Warner Bros. release is in the extras department, but you don’t buy it for the supplemental features only do you?  I don’t!  I don’t know what to say here either.  You’re either going to enjoy this one a little bit or you’re not.  I’m lukewarm on it, but I lean more on the positive side than most do with this Tomb Raider title.  If you’re a fan, this is a NO-BRAINER.  If you’re one of those folks in the 4K Facebook groups I belong to that have to own every single 4K UHD release, then here let me help you.  Click here.  You’re welcome!


DISCLAIMER: This 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray review was judged and graded using the following 4K certified Ultra HD Premium television set found here and player here.  Make sure to check out all our 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray reviews archived here.


Tomb Raider

Raids Only 1 Tomb This Time

on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

June 12th




Tomb Raider 4K


Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

  1. No Comments