When the debut poster for next March’s Tomb Raider dropped on Monday, it took me more than a few moments to realise there was anything particularly wrong with it. Yes, it’s a little bland — I think a simple shot of the climbing axe embedded in a cliffside, or the trailer’s recreation of Lara’s signature jump from the Turning Point trailer, would’ve been considerably better — but my first real thought was that the logo they’ve gone with is excellent.
Seriously, it’s leaps and bounds — and cartwheels, front-flips, and handstands — ahead of the one they’re currently using for the games.
— Tomb Raider (@tombraider) 18 September 2017
It wasn’t until the poster began to spread, and people began to Tweet about it, that I realised there was something up with Lara’s neck — the ‘something’ in question being a tremendously dodgy Photoshop job. Couple this apparent sloppiness with a slightly underwhelming glimpse at the trailer —
— Tomb Raider (@TombRaiderMovie) 18 September 2017
— and you have a recipe for some serious concern.
— John T. (@JHNMCHLTNR) 18 September 2017
I spent the day between that first glimpse and the full trailer pretty much convinced that disaster was on the horizon. I’ve never been particularly enthusiastic about this one. I couldn’t see Lara when I looked at the various teaser photos of Vikander in the role, and the fact that the film is described as taking place in the same universe as the rebooted games, while telling a significantly different story, baffles me.
Still, despite my reservations, I’m willing to give Tomb Raider a shot.
As much as I suspect and fear that it might be terrible, I’m hoping for the best — which is why I stayed up until six in the goddamn morning to watch the full trailer. (Well, that and the fact that I’m currently deep in the midst of replaying Asssassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, and have a hell of a lot of collecting to do.)
Seeing Lara run through the jungle, take aim with her bow, I couldn’t help but feel some of that old disappointment. As with the teaser photos, my mind immediately screamed, ‘Cosplay!’ — again, a comment on the fact that many cosplayers are doing a much better job with the character — and that sense of not being able to see Vikander as Lara remained just as strong as ever.
But as the trailer went on — with that very cool puzzle box and Lara discovering what seems to be her father’s study — I began to feel a little more positive. Seeing her out of that underwhelming main costume, I have no problem buying Alicia as Lara, and the incident that strands her on Yamatai looks pretty damn well-realised. In fact, the action looks solid across the board, and — for better or worse — the filmmakers have definitely succeeded in capturing the look of 2013’s reboot.
Predictably, though, there are a few drawbacks. I’m not a fan of some of the cinematography, and the return of some age-old clichés — ‘If you’re listening to this, then I must be dead.’, ‘You shouldn’t have come here…’ (not to mention the fact that Lara is, once again, tasked with solving a family mystery, and that THE FATE OF HUMANITY RESTS IN HER HANDS!) — is disappointing.
But, I suppose, I was never going to like everything, and the trailer hasn’t changed the fact that I’m definitely going to head to the cinema next March.
Ultimately, it might not have done as much as I’d hoped to allay my fears, but there’s a short featurette entitled Becoming Lara Croft out there, and I have one word to say after watching that…