Tomb Raider 4K Blu-ray Review
|Pros||Fantastic looking Dolby Vision image and a reference grade Dolby Atmos sountrack.|
|Cons||The Dolby Atmos soundtrack isn't selected by default, the movie itself is only so-so.|
|Summary||The Tomb Raider story might only be OK, but the true 4K Dolby Vision image and Dolby Atmos audio are fantastic and worth watching and listening to.|
|Negative Formats||ARRIRAW (3.4K)|
|Peak Brightness||Dolby Vision|
|Stars||Alicia Vikander, Dominic West, Walton Goggins|
|Review Date||June 8, 2018|
Summary: 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. 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.
Movie Review: My friends and roommates enjoyed playing Tomb Raider a lot in college, and while I was not any good at it, I also couldn’t tell you any of the plot either. The film sets the stage as many do now for a series of films with an origin story, a plot that carries that along, and then a setup for the next installment. The film itself is fine, though you’ll want to check the logic part of your brain before you come. How Lara Croft goes from being beaten by a woman at her gym at the start of the film to beating up highly trained male mercenaries around 72 hours later isn’t explained, but you probably don’t expect it to be. The film is a fine, enjoyable two hours that looks and sounds great, but hopefully if they have a sequel it has a better story than this one.
Technical Review: Tomb Raider was shot on Arri Alexa cameras at 3.4K resolution and has a native 4K transfer along with a Dolby Vision layer. Overall the image quality is outstanding but comes up just a hair short of reference quality sharpness. The use of HDR is restrained, almost as if they’re learning to take more advantage of the overall brightness of HDR and not just use it for flashy effects now, but still used well. Late in the film when they’re inside of a tomb, the dark shadows have lots of great detail while flashlights and flares light up the screen when needed. There’s a great shot around 57:00 into the film of a beach with a sun in the background, where on the Dolby Vision version it keeps everything visible even with the sun being so bright.
The Atmos soundtrack is first-rate, though not the default audio for some unknown reason. From quiet ambient sounds inside the tomb, to putting you in the middle of a gunfire battle, the soundtrack does a wonderful job and is very dynamic. Aside from having to remember to select it from the main menu, there is nothing to complain about with the soundtrack at all.
Special Features: Special features are located on the Blu-ray disc.
- Tomb Raider: Uncovered – The cast and crew reveal the challenges – and the fun – of bringing Lara Croft’s thrilling adventures of life for a new generation.
- Croft Training – 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.
- Breaking Down the Rapids – Join Director Roar Uthaug as he and other members of the cast and crew break down the film’s most exciting action set piece.
- Lara Croft: Evolution of an Icon – 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.
Review System: Sony Z9D LCD, Sony UBP-X700 UltraHD Blu-ray Player, Oppo UDP-203 UltraHD Blu-ray Player, KEF Ci5160RL-THX Fronts, Ci3160RL-THX Center, 2x Ci200RR-THX Surrounds, 4x CI200RR-THX Atmos Speakers, Anthem MRX 1120 Receiver, SVS SB-4000 Subwoofer.