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Lara Croft: Tomb Raider

4K Ultra HD

Blu Ray

  • Score
    from 4 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • Tomb Raider: visually stunning yet shallow, for fans keen on upgrades.

    Lara Croft: Tomb Raider 4K UHD Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
  • Paramount's UHD release of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider enhances texture and color, with some issues in sharpness and effects clarity, yet still surpasses its Blu-ray counterpart significantly.

  • Audio
  • Lara Croft: Tomb Raider's UHD release boasts an engaging yet flawed DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack, missing Dolby Atmos but delivering in stage saturation and fun, with some criticism for its dynamics and vocal mixing.

  • Extra
  • The 'Lara Croft: Tomb Raider' Blu-ray reissue bundles a digital copy, director's commentary, and a mix of SD/HD extras including featurettes, visual effects clips, stunts, deleted scenes, and a U2 music video, mirroring its 2006 release.

  • Movie
  • Paramount releases Angelina Jolie's 'Tomb Raider' films in UHD, while the reboot ignites nostalgia, despite critiques of its shallow plot and focus on Jolie's sexualized portrayal of Lara Croft.

    Video: 81

    Lara Croft: Tomb Raider's foray into the 4K UHD arena, courtesy of Paramount's meticulous handling, delivers an image quality that largely astounds with its fine detail and texture reproduction, albeit with a few caveats primarily stemming from its source and cinematographic choices. The 4K scan of the original 35mm source material presents a commendable filmic appearance that retains a heavy, albeit fluctuating grain structure, which, rather than detracting, adds to the visual texture of the film. This presentation showcases an impressive sharpness and depth in a variety of settings—from the ornate interiors of Venice and Lara's mansion to the rugged terrains and ancient ruins—with a level of detail that brings out the intricacies of each environment in almost tactile complexity. The effort put into this transfer is evident in its refined textural qualities and enhanced color depth over its Blu-ray counterpart, marked by striking color clarity in certain sequences and notably improved black levels, lending a richness to dark scenes without loss of detail.

    Despite these strengths, a few issues do mar the overall presentation. The adherence to the original cinematography results in variable sharpness, where some shots dazzle with their resolution and texture detail, especially in close-ups of characters and environment textures like stone and dirt, while others appear softer or suffer from low-resolution visual effects that date the movie. The HDR enhancement brings subtlety rather than spectacle to the color palette, respecting the source material's aesthetic choices by leaning towards earth tones and maintaining skin tone accuracy, albeit with occasional flatness and limited secondary hues.

    Transitional elements, such as scenes reliant on CG effects or certain wide shots, reveal the technology's age with evident blurriness and some distracting edge ringing in high-contrast areas. Despite these limitations, the Dolby Vision HDR does improve upon contrast levels and shadow detail, presenting deeper blacks that add a new dimension to many scenes. Specular highlights receive a modest but meaningful boost, complementing the film's stylistic choices without over-enhancing. While not a revolutionary leap from its HD counterpart in every aspect, this release offers a tangible improvement in visual quality that will please both fans and newcomers alike by providing a richer, more nuanced viewing experience that leverages improved sharpness, depth, and color fidelity.

    Audio: 76

    The audio presentation of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider on 4K UHD Blu-Ray, while upgraded to a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack, lacks the presence of a Dolby Atmos track, which has become somewhat expected for releases of this caliber. This soundtrack improves upon its predecessors' Dolby Digital and lossy DTS 5.1 formats from the 2006 release, offering a more commanding and immersive experience. However, it falls victim to its design era's traits, with an overarching trend towards over-amplification and saturation of the soundstage at the expense of nuanced audio detailing. Despite this, the action scenes are rich with intensity, featuring fully engaged surrounds that create a booming 360-degree sound field, highlighting exceptional gunfire and mechanical effects with pronounced low-end support.

    The soundtrack's dynamics, particularly in action sequences, display a commendable level of clarity and distinction among various sounds, even if they tend towards feeling exaggerated rather than authentically immersive. Vocal clarity is maintained throughout, ensuring dialogue cuts through the dense mix, though sometimes at odds with the background score's volume levels. The bass response, while firm, lacks the depth and warmth found in more contemporary mixes, rendering explosive and high-impact scenes less satisfying than potential. Directionality and surround activity are high points, offering some semblance of immersion in a sound field that strives but occasionally struggles to fully envelop the listener.

    Furthermore, despite its efforts to modernize the auditory experience of this early-2000s blockbuster, the mix lacks the dynamic range and audio fidelity observed in current high-resolution tracks. Explosions and gunfire often come off as hollow, and the soundtrack's electronic tunes miss the mark on fidelity, contributing to a perceived flatness across the audio spectrum. While the track benefits from decent balance and fluid movement across channels, and vocals remain prioritized, the absence of an Atmos track is notably disappointing for an action-packed film needing such a dynamic auditory landscape.

    Extra: 74

    The "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider" 4K UHD Blu-ray preserves the essence of its adventurous spirit not only through its main feature but also via its extras, all meticulously ported over from the 2006 release. This collection, while mirroring the details from the original DVD, offers fans and new viewers alike a deeper dive into the making of this iconic film. The standout audio commentary by Director Simon West provides insightful behind-the-scenes narratives. Additional features include a diverse array of content from the crafting of Lara Croft's character, a detailed exploration of the film's visual effects and stunts, to a somewhat dated yet charming look at the video game legacy. Although these extras are presented in standard definition, their inclusion enriches the viewing experience, spotlighting the intricate work that went into bringing Lara Croft's adventures to life.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • Audio Commentary: Director Simon West shares insights.
    • Digging into Tomb Raider: A deep dive into the film's production.
    • Crafting Lara Croft: Focuses on bringing the character to life.
    • The Visual Effects of Tomb Raider: Exploration of key visual effects.
    • The Stunts of Tomb Raider: Highlighting the film's action sequences.
    • Are You Game?: A look at Tomb Raider's video game origins.
    • Deleted Scenes: Additional unused footage.
    • Music Video: “Elevation” by U2 - Tomb Raider mix.
    • Alternate Main Title: A different look at the opening.
    • Teaser Trailer: Early preview in HD.
    • Trailer: Official movie trailer in HD.

    Movie: 64

    Paramount Home Entertainment's release of "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider" on 4K UHD Blu-ray breathes new life into the early 2000s action-adventure that originally catapulted Angelina Jolie into the role of the eponymous heroine, drawn from the immensely popular video game series. The 4K/Dolby Vision presentation undoubtedly elevates the film's visual flair, though it's somewhat undercut by the absence of an Atmos soundtrack, settling instead for a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 presentation. While the visual upgrade is welcome, it accentuates both the strengths and the inherent flaws of the movie's execution—highlighting its extravagant action scenes and Jolie's physically demanding portrayal of Lara Croft, yet also throwing into relief the film's thin plot and occasionally lackluster CGI work.

    Jolie's embodiment of Lara Croft remains a focal point, offering a performance that melds spunk and physical prowess with the character's iconic sex appeal, dressed often in skimpy, action-ready attire. However, the movie's focus on style over substance—characterized by its over-the-top action sequences, techno-infused soundtrack, and barely coherent plot revolving around planetary alignments and Illuminati conspiracies—limits its depth. Despite its visual and technical merits, and Jolie's commendable effort in making Lara Croft a cinematic icon of her era, the film struggles to rise above being a popcorn flick with a disjointed narrative and ponderous action that seldom feels as thrilling or as dangerous as intended.

    Moreover, Daniel Craig's early role as Alex West offers an intriguing yet ultimately forgettable performance, illustrating the film's broader issue of underdeveloped characters and missed opportunities for more meaningful interactions or character growth.17 years later, "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider" stands as a testament to a transitioning phase in blockbuster cinema, reflecting both advancements and lingering issues in adapting video games to the big screen. While it may serve as an entertaining diversion, it underscores how far narrative and technical standards have evolved in the years since.

    Total: 74

    Lara Croft: Tomb Raider," a cult classic for many, reemerges in the home cinema landscape with its 4K UHD Blu-ray release, promising an immersive re-exploration of its iconic action scenes and set pieces, albeit through a lens that might leave story enthusiasts wanting. The film's transition to 4K UHD has been handled with care by Paramount, providing an excellent Dolby Vision picture quality that enhances the viewing experience significantly. While the story of the movie remains a contentious point—criticized for its complexity and lack of substance—the technical uplift provided here ensures that the film's visual and auditory elements are highlighted, making it a potentially worthwhile acquisition for fans. The included 5.1 lossless soundtrack is robust, contributing to the overall enjoyment, although some viewers might find it somewhat overpowering at times.

    Despite its weaknesses in narrative structure and character development, "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider" finds its strength in its action sequences and the physical prowess of Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft, albeit with limited character depth. This 4K release breathes new life into these sequences with a stronger DTS-HD soundtrack that marks a noticeable improvement from previous versions. However, enthusiasts looking for additional content will find themselves revisiting supplements carried over from the title's 2006 release without any new additions, bringing into question the release's value to those seeking beyond what they might already own.

    In conclusion, the 4K UHD Blu-ray release of "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider" stands as a testament to the film's enduring appeal to its fanbase, enhanced by superior picture and audio quality that may justify an upgrade for enthusiasts invested in the technical aspects of home cinema. However, for those on the fence or critical of the film's original content, the lack of new supplemental materials and underlying issues with story and character development suggest a more cautious approach, potentially waiting for a price drop or a surge of nostalgic enthusiasm. For dedicated fans or collectors, though, this release offers a chance to experience Lara Croft's adventure in unmatched clarity and sound, reaffirming its status as a visually appealing piece of action cinema.